Special Correspondent

Un-repaired damage to ONGC platform, basis for settlement

NEW DELHI: ONGC Chairman on Tuesday received a cheque for Rs. 864 crore towards the final settlement of one of the largest ever-insurance claims in corporate India in respect of the Bombay High platform accident against the ONGC's Offshore Package Policy.

The cheque was handed over by United India Insurance Company (UIIC) Chairman and Managing Director, M. K. Garg. With this, the total amount received by ONGC towards the BHN accident loss works out to around Rs. 1,700 crore, the largest-ever insurance claim.

The accident took place on July 27, 2005, causing a major fire that totally destroyed the platform, while Multi-purpose Support Vessel (MSV) `Samudra Surkasha', which sustained major damage, sank on August 2, 2005. The heat and smoke of BHN fire partially affected other installations like BHF platform, interconnecting bridges of MNW and BHF platform, sub-sea pipelines.

Due to uncertainties regarding restoring the partially damaged facilities to their pre-existing condition and the timeframe in which the debris of BHN could be removed after due process, it was apprehended that the claim settlement process would stretch over a long period. Therefore, it was thought desirable to consider the proposal mooted by the underwriters for an un-repaired damage settlement provided the offer was reasonable and acceptable to ONGC management.

The reinsurance brokers Jardine Lloyd Thompson (JLT), London, facilitated the claim settlement, supported by its Indian partner, Heritage Insurance Brokers Pvt. Ltd.