It goes without saying that the COVID-19 outbreak has had a deep economic impact, with widespread disruption in business operations. Essar Oil & Gas Exploration & Production Ltd (EEGPL), which is a portfolio company of Essar Global Fund’s energy vertical, is one of the pioneers of unconventional hydrocarbons (CBM).
The Raniganj East CBM Block in West Bengal is a flagship asset of EOGEPL with a significant volume of CBM gas reserve. Raniganj block is today a showcase of CBM development in the country and has a slew of customers who continue to depend on the supply of CBM gas to sustain their own businesses.
The Raniganj CBM field has nearly 350 wells, associated Gas Gathering and Compressor facilities and about 300 km of infield and customer pipelines. The safe and continuous functioning of this wells/equipments/facilities is key to maintain sub-surface reservoir integrity and also sustained production of CBM gas for downward evacuation to customers. This is why it was imperative that the Raniganj CBM block in Durgapur could continue with round-the-clock operations even though India goes through its fourth phase of a nationwide lockdown.
The contingent strategy developed by the EOGEPL management was to sustain 24×7 operations with the lowest possible number of crew members who are adhering to the highest standards of safety and maintaining strict social distancing norms.
At the same time, being a corporate entity which has always maintained a strong commitment towards its human resource, EOGEPL maintained a sustained focus on HSE standards in light of specific guidelines due to COVID 19 pandemic.
The blue print of the sustained operation consists of optimized and stress free usage of the rudimentary manpower
- Two members of a team are posted at each installation on a 12-hour shift for two consecutive days. They are then given two off-days when other team members fill in for them. With such skeletal manpower, it is quite a challenge to carry out equipment maintenance and keep them prepped for operations. But EOGEPL personnel have been doing exactly that for the last two months with stellar results!
- Installation managers have been visiting sites on rotational basis since mid-April to guide the shift crew and boost its morale.
The most crucial safety guidelines and steps that are being followed are:
- Adherence to COVID-19 safety guidelines prepared and approved by HSE and HR.
- Monitoring staff health through temperature checking with thermal scanners at every operating sites and for all employees
- Maintaining daily checklist of precautionary measures
- Employees using proper PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) and maintaining social distancing at the workplace
- Frequent awareness sessions conducted and informative videos circulated.
- Frequent site visits by operation managers and safety mangers to ensure the implementation of safety practices on site
- Daily operational review meetings in the morning. The session is chaired by Head-Operation to review the safety and operational activity on site. Team members share feedback during the meeting on ways to improve safety and make operations more efficient.
- Apart from that, the families of the employees at sites and project operations has also proactively induced with social distancing and sanitization norms.
Urja Ganga gas pipeline will eventually become the energy lifeline of local industries, but until the pipeline is commissioned, EOGEPL is committed to provide un-interrupted gas supply to local industries.
The recent relaxation in lockdown rules have helped local industries to restart their operations. And as a result, the volume of gas supplies have started to revive, both in terms of pipeline connected customers as well through cascades.