Undersea oil pipeline goes offline
Only three days after it began operation, the country's first undersea pipeline went out of service on Wednesday afternoon due to a "fault".
Between 7,000 and 8,000 tonnes of crude oil was pumped through the pipeline from a deep-sea mooring point to a storage facility in Maheshkhali before the flow had to be halted, said officials of the Eastern Refinery Ltd.
It is not sure when the pipeline will be back in service, said Muhammad Lokman, managing director of Eastern Refinery Limited, adding that the cause of the problem had not been confirmed yet.
The pipeline was being used to pump crude oil from a tanker with 82,000 tonnes of crude oil. Lighter vessels will now be used to bring the rest of the oil ashore, he added.
Since the Chinese firm that built the pipeline has not officially handed over the project to Bangladesh authorities, no investigation committee has been formed over the matter.
Asked if there was a spill, he said, "I heard that some oil spilled into the sea from the connection pipe to the ship. However, those involved in the project had not confirmed anything yet."
Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation with funds from the Exim Bank of China implemented the Single Point Mooring (SPM) Project at a cost of Tk 7,124 crore.
The 110km pipeline was built between a deep-sea mooring point and the Eastern Refinery Ltd in Chattogram's Patenga.