RIL completes erection of east-west gas pipeline

Mumbai: Reliance Industries has completed the physical laying of the pipeline that will evacuate gas from its eastern offshore fields to consumption centres in the west. The company is expected to commission the 1,386-km line by September.

The pipeline connects Kakinada in Andhra Pradesh with Bharuch in Gujarat and passes through Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Gujarat.

The pipeline is currently undergoing water and gas tests to check for leaks and other pressure parameters. While water flooding in the most of the pipeline sections is complete 'gas-in' tests are yet to be completed.

Sources said about 1,000-km of the pipeline length is ready for gas-in or gas testing and the testing process is expected to take between 20 and 25 days.

Reliance had awarded contract for laying of the pipeline to Chinese and Russian firms. Six of the eight sections were given to Chinese company and two to OAO Stroytransgaz, a unit of Russian natural gas company OAO Gazprom.

Stroytransgaz, one of Russia's largest engineering and construction companies, said on Thursday it had completed the construction of the first and second sections of the gas pipeline.

Stroytransgaz, which is partly owned by energy giant Gazprom, signed a contract  in August 2006. Under the contract, Stroytransgaz built the first and second sections of the pipeline with a length of 147 km and 102 km, respectively. Stroytransgaz also built six valve stations, a scraper receiver and launching station and over 300 pipeline crossings over natural and man-made obstacles, the Russian contractor said.

The east-west pipeline is designed to cater tor the growing natural gas requirements of central, western and northern states.