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ONGC vessels recalled for safety audits

Mumbai: India's biggest oil exporter Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) has had 27 of its 46 offshore supply vessels (OSVs) recalled for safety audits by the Directorate General of Shipping. The order comes on the heels of the sinking of the ONGC-chartered vessel, the Samudrika-10, which went down off the coast of Mumbai, killing five people on board.

Confirming that 16 of the vessels asked to undergo the safety audits were operated by Sical, while the remaining 11 operated by HAL, Kiran Dhingra, director general of shipping, told the Business Standard, "I cannot offer any comment as the preliminary investigation about the ONGC incident is progressing. But we have asked ONGC to get the necessary security compliance for all the ships."

Although the move could disrupt oil supplies to the country, ONCG is believed to be working out a contingency plan in case any of the OSVs fail the audit, which may involve transporting the oil on vessels chartered in from the Shipping Corporation of India.
 
A spokesperson for ONGC told the Business standard, "ONGC is continuously coordinating with DG Shipping for the process of safety audit of vessels to ensure that it is completed at the earliest. Production from Bombay High is currently 2,51,000 barrels of oil per day (bopd). However, the production, in general, cannot remain steady during the monsoon. "

The process of recalling the ships from offshore sites is expected to take about three months.  [27/07/07]
 

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