INDIA. MUMBAI: An offshore security exercise, ‘Prasthan,’ was conducted by the Defence forces and other Government organizations, in the Offshore Development Area (ODA) off Mumbai, under the aegis of Headquarters, Western Naval Command (WNC), on Wednesday.
This exercise is an essential element of ensuring offshore security and aims to integrate the efforts of all maritime stakeholders involved in offshore defense.
Led by the Indian Navy, the exercise saw participation from the Indian Air Force, Coast Guard, ONGC, Mumbai Port Trust, Jawahar Lal Nehru Port Trust, Indian Customs, Maharashtra fisheries department, Mercantile Marine Department, and the Marine Police.
The day-long exercise conducted on the B-193 platform of the Oil and Natural Gas Commission (ONGC), located about 38 km west of Mumbai, resulted in refining standard operating procedures (SOPs) and response-actions to several contingencies in the Offshore Defence Area off Mumbai.
The ONGC is a vital organization engaged in oil exploration. It has added a couple of high-producing new wells in a marginal field B-193. Besides, it has diverted the healthy fluid from Cluster – 7 fields to the newly engaged Floating Production Storage Offloading (FPSO), Sterling-II. Cluster – 7 comprises B-192, B-45 & WO-24 marginal areas- located in the Mumbai High-Deep Continental Shelf of Bombay Offshore Basin. These fields are located approximately 210 kilometers west of Mumbai in water depths ranging from 80 to 88 meters. B-192 is an oil and gas field, while B-45 and WO-24 are gas fields.
The exercise covered scenarios such as terrorist intrusion, bomb explosion, major fire, oil spill, man overboard, casualty evacuation, vessel loss of control, and mass evacuation. Earlier, on March 17, loss of control of an Offshore Supply Vessel (OSV) that necessitated towing by an Emergency Towing Vessel was also exercised. It gave all stakeholders a realistic experience to assess their readiness to respond to and combat contingencies in the Western ODA and collaborate in a coordinated and synergistic manner.
This exercise is critical to ensure offshore security. It aims to integrate the efforts of all maritime stakeholders, which includes the Indian Navy, Indian Air Force, Coast Guard, ONGC, the Port Trust, Customs, the state fisheries department, and the Marine Police, in refining SOPs and response-actions to a variety of contingencies in the ODAs.