(Updates with GAIL's confirmation)
NEW DELHI/AHMEDABAD, Sept 24 (Reuters) - A fire at an Oil
and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) plant caused by a pipeline
rupture has cut gas supplies to customers including power and
fertiliser companies, gas marketing firm GAIL (India) Ltd
said on Thursday.
The fire broke out on Thursday morning at ONGC's Hazira gas
processing plant in western Gujarat state and has since been
extinguished, ONGC said, adding that there were no casualties.
The plant, which produces liquefied petroleum gas and other
products such as naphtha, has been closed but ONGC said it is
working to resume normal operations.
GAIL, India's biggest gas marketing firm, supplies the bulk
of gas produced at ONGC's western offshore fields to customers
in the states of Gujarat, Goa, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and
It supplies about 60 million standard cubic metres of gas
daily to these customers.
In a statement, GAIL said ONGC had shut off the supply of 30
million standard cubic metres a day (mmscmd) of gas to GAIL's
north-western pipeline network to contain any further damage.
"Supply cuts of up to 40% against current allocations have
been imposed on downstream customers," it said, adding that
supplies to households had not been disrupted and the pipeline
grid, which supports about 80 mmscmd of gas, had not been
India's biggest utility NTPC Ltd shut its 656
megawatt gas-based power plant at Kawas near Hazira and a 657
megawatt Jhanor-Gandhar plant due to gas supply disruption, a
person at the company said.
Capacity utilisation at fertiliser maker KRIBHCO fell to 50%
and Jadish Prasad Verma, general manger for production at the
company's Hazira plant, said they were trying to secure gas from
other local suppliers.
Gas supplies to customers have temporarily closed due to
safety reasons, an ONGC spokesman said.
"There could be some impact on our production... We are
investigating the cause of fire, and extent of damage."
NTPC did not respond to Reuters emails seeking comments.
Surat Collector and District Magistrate Dhaval Patel, a
senior city official, told Reuters the fire was caused by a
rupture in a pipeline at the gas terminal. ONGC's plant is in
Surat, a city in Gujarat.
"The area was cordoned off, depressurised and cooled as part
of firefighting measures," Patel said.
Surat Municipal Commissioner Banchhanidhi Pani said the fire
was in the 36-inch Uran-Mumbai gas pipeline.
(Reporting by Nidhi Verma in New Delhi and Summit Khanna in
Ahmedabad; Additional reporting by Florence Tan; Editing by Raju
Gopalakrishnan and Christopher Cushing and Kirsten Donovan)