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ONGC served ultimatum for resuming production

By Correspondent

SIVASAGAR, June 27 � In the wake of the ONGC management�s unsavoury decision to stop the entire crude production in the beleaguered Assam Asset, allegedly due to NRL�s failure to take the crude, has created yet another phase of uncertainty over the fate of the major oil industry and thousands of its employees here.

The Purbanchal ONGC Employees� Association (recognised) served an ultimatum on June 23 to the management demanding immediate resumption of crude production, failing which it threatened to launch an indefinite strike. Sources here say that ONGC management�s decision smacks of a conspiracy to deliberately downplay the interest of the unit in Assam so as to fulfil its ulterior motive of making it a sick industry at first and then a subsidiary unit later.

It may be mentioned here that the ONGC management had to withdraw its declaration of making the Assam Asset a subsidiary company a couple of months back in the face of strong public reaction and protests from various quarters.

Due to upgradation of the plant as per GOI notification for production Bharat II and Bharat III oil, NRL declared shutdown two months back after proper notification to the natural gas and crude suppliers ONGC and OIL, Duliajan. But due to excessive rainfall during the last two months in the region the upgradation plan could not be completed as per schedule and the shutdown continued upto the third month. But it is very surprising that an oil giant like ONGC had to stop production without having a contingency plan to meet an emergency. Since the refinery upgradation scheme is done all over the country as per wishes of the Ministry of Petroleum, GOI and ONGC should have been aware of the situation well ahead of time. Under the circumstances, ONGC management�s decision to stop production in all 125 wells in the aging fields of the Assam Asset would not only cost the Navaratna company dear, but also destroy the fields beyond repair, Purbanchal ONGC Employees Association and a number of social and student organisations here claimed.

The Employees� Association, affiliated to INTUC, demands an independent inquiry in to the shutdown episode. Asom Jatiyatabadi Yuva Chatra Parishad (AJYCP) also demanded a clarification from ONGC authority by June 30 as to why all of a sudden it blamed NRL for the total stop in crude and gas production. AJYCP blamed ONGC for deliberately destroying the productive wells.

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