A high-pressure, highly inflammable gas leak occurred at an oil rig at Bombay High on Saturday evening off the coast of Mumbai. The leak occured at a well being drilled by state-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC). The rig is situated about 162 kilometres off the coast of Mumbai.
No deaths and no loss to property has been reported in the incident so far, said ONGC in a statement. Evacuations are on at the oil rig, called Sagar Uday.
There are conflicting reports about the number of staff which has been evacuated. While news channels are putting the figure at 40, ONGC had earlier stated that 42 evacuations were complete. However, in another statement, it said that only 15-20 staff had been evacuated and that the entire process would take a couple of hours. ONGC further stated that a crisis management team of 8 to 10 people are involved in plugging the leak.
Reports say that the Coast Guard and Indian Navy have diverted ships to provide assistance in evacuation. The Coast Guard has sent its vessel 'Varuna' to assist in the evacuations. The vessel is expected to arrive at the site by midnight. An assessment of the gas leak is presently being conducted by ONGC. The Coast Guard has said all precautions are being taken during evacuation.
ONGC was drilling a side track well from a platform called NF on the Mumbai High North field.
Sources said that a gas leak was not expected at a shallow depth of 1000 to 1100 meters. But during drilling operations, some gas leaked and all precautions had been taken for safety.
All drilling operations have been stopped for the time being. A helicopter company called Pawan Hans is also assisting in the rescue effort