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Updated: June 5, 2013 15:43 IST

Oil leak in Tiruvottiyur blows lid off two-year-old problem

Aloysius Xavier Lopez
Comment (2)   ·   print   ·   T  T  

Residents have been complaining of seepages from the CPCL pipeline; oil company asserts facility is in good health

A leak in an underground oil pipeline in Tiruvottiyur on Friday set off panic among residents even as oil company officials initiated immediate action to plug the hole and clear the contaminated soil on Ottravadai Street. While CPCL officials said that the pipeline was being monitored regularly and no abnormality had been detected, TNPCB officials, who inspected the spot, said the leak was due to corrosion.

Residents said the leak was first been noticed at 6.30 a.m. By 8 a.m., the area was cordoned off by Chennai Petroleum Corporation Limited (CPCL) with the assistance of the fire service personnel and Central Industrial Security Force. Soon, the excavation of the area began and the workers kept throwing mud on the oil collected in the pit dug up to plug the leak on Ottravadai Street. Chennai Corporation Councillor Prabhakaran said the residents have been complaining about the oil leak for the past few months. Many wells and bore wells in the residential locality have been closed because of oil contamination. CPCL officials said the leak had been plugged by evening.

As a school was located on the same street where the leak occurred, officials asked residents to avoid cooking or using LPG stove for any other purpose till the hole was plugged. “The discharge of oil has intensified over the past two years. Luckily today, no vehicles skidded on the oil patch,” said S.Damodaran, a resident.

The 30-inch oil pipeline runs for a distance of 6.9 km underground and 300 metre above ground level. “The pipeline has been properly assessed for its health periodically. CPCL has been taking extraordinary precautions to periodically inspect the health of the pipeline. The pipeline is protected by impressed current cathodic protection system and monitored every week. Walk-through inspections of the pipeline are done every fortnight. Extensive condition assessment studies of the pipeline are done once in four years and the last exercise was done by Engineers India Limited (EIL) in December in 2012,” a CPCL release said.

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There is no specific focus on Corrosion made by the Industries in India. Inspection is an activity carried out to visually check the status of assets during specified time or after the failures. But there are limitations with these activities to cover the entire area for extensive analysis. Corrosion is highly complex in nature. Industries do not have specific department in their setup or do not engage specialist people during the design stage to have a proper corrosion management program. Corrosion control activities are presently attended by other functional groups. Government should introduce legislation -Corrosion Prevention act and encourage our industries to conserve the valuable material resources. There are many gaps between the scientific community and end users that call for developing active Knowledge Collaboration to resolve this complex issue.

from:  M Valliappan
Posted on: Feb 9, 2013 at 16:38 IST

“The pipeline has been properly assessed for its health periodically.
CPCL has been taking extraordinary precautions to periodically inspect
the health of the pipeline"

How did the pipe leak then ???

from:  Vivek Patil
Posted on: Feb 9, 2013 at 03:25 IST
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