New Delhi: State-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) has put its installations in the western offshore on high alert and restricted helicopter sorties as Cyclone Vayu gathers intensity over the Arabian Sea.
Sources said the company has not evacuated any of its personnel from the living quarters on the western offshore fields like Mumbai High and Bassein but has stopped helicopter sorties to wellheads.
Two emergency control rooms have been set up in Mumbai and Hazira in Gujarat to keep a close watch on the situation as it develops. Helicopters and a multi-support vessel (MSV) have been kept on standby for any rescue and relief operation that may be warranted post Cyclone Vayu hits landfall, informed the officials.
Operations have largely remained unaffected till now according to the officials. A floating oil production system at D-1 field off the west coast has suffered power failure which is being restored.
The company has also taken precautions to ensure that wind speeds do not damage the rigs or tilt them. “As a standard operating procedure (SOP), helicopter sorties are restricted the moment wind speed in offshore crosses 25 knots. In the present cyclone, wind speeds of 35-50 knots are expected,” a source said.
Cyclone Vayu, with wind speeds equivalent to those of a Category 1 hurricane, is set to cross the coast in Gujarat by Thursday morning with sustained wind speeds of 145-155 km per hour.
Gujarat houses three oil refineries including the country’s biggest and has multiple ports.
Reliance Industries’ twin refineries at Jamnagar and Rosneft-backed Nayara Energy’s Vadinar unit are on high alert but operations are not impacted, sources said.
The country’s largest port operator, Adani Ports, has activated a disaster management plan at all its assets along the Gujarat coast, including Hazira, Dahej, Tuna and Mundra ports. On the other hand, Sikka Ports and Terminals, which handles crude oil and refined products for Reliance has halted vessel berthing after the cyclone warning.