96-hour oil blockade in India threatens production
A student movement in Assam, All Assam Students' Union (AASU), organized to protest Oil and Natural Gas Corporation’s allegedly planned sale of oilfields there through a 96-hour oil blockade. The protest has threatened to halt the state player’s crude production in the eastern district of the Indian state.
"The ONGC is slowly moving towards privatization of the Assam oilfields thereby risking jobs and livelihoods of hundreds of locals working here," general secretary of All Assam Students’ Union, Tapan Gogoi said.
Sarat Hazarika, a senior leader of the All Assam Students’ Union told Economic Times of India hundreds of picketers have blocked vehicles carrying workers to the oilfields. “It could be matter of time before we are able to hit crude oil production," he said.
The ONGC last week announced a Rs 24 billion investment plan for upgrading facilities and equipment to boost crude oil production in Assam.
The investment is part of the Rs 44 billion Assam Renewal Project involving comprehensive replacement and expansion of equipment and facilities, drilling of hi-tech wells and revamping of ageing drilling rigs.
Meanwhile, an unidentified ONGC official told the Indian press crude production in Assam is ‘going on uninterrupted’ and the national oil company has stepped up security around all its installations. ONGC has reportedly incurred heavy losses due to the frequent strikes and protests in Assam.