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6 held for pilfering ONGC drill tools

By The Assam Tribune

AGARTALA, July 18 - A team of Tripura police and ONGC security personnel averted a possible mishap at an oil drill site in Gabardih near here by apprehending six persons allegedly involved in pilferage of sophisticated machinery of the oil major.

Acting on a tip-off, the raid team of police and ONGC security reached the drill site on Friday last and arrested six persons, who were trying to pilfer machinery from the site, a statement issued by the ONGC unit here said today.

As the location has high pressure wells and pipelines connecting the old well at a pressure of 2,000 PSI, it is very unsafe for humans to enter the location. Even a minor dent in any of the pipelines or spark due to friction could cause an explosion, Assistant Manager, ONGC Tripura, SC Soni said.

He said such acts of pilferage had caused a loss of Rs 2.3 crore to ONGC, apart from delaying by at least one month the plan to connect the wells.

�Our intent is not to punish a section of villagers but to make them aware that it�s highly unsafe to be involved in any such activity near any gas well or pipeline. It is not possible to post security personnel at all the 209 wells drilled by ONGC. Rather the villagers should ensure that national property is not destroyed by any miscreant,� Soni said.

The cluster location has two new wells having gas potential of 1.5 lakh cubic metres each per day, and two old wells.

The new wells are scheduled to be connected to Gas Gathering Station (GCS) of ONGC while the site was scheduled to be used by another rig of the oil major to undertake repair of old wells.

Police inspector-in-charge, Dipak Das, who is probing the case, told reporters that the thieves tried to lift the machineries for selling in markets in low rates.

Police were interrogating the six arrested persons, he said adding the arrests busted a racket involved in pilferage activities in the area but further raids were on. � PTI

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