Under instructions from the home ministry, the petroleum ministry has sensitised all oil refineries and pipeline companies in India over a possible threat from the terrorist organisation — Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT).
Companies have been asked to beef up security at these refineries and pipelines with the help of CISF and state police.
“A letter dated April 2 has been received from the ministry of home affairs and it has been reported that oil refineries, installations and oil pipelines in India continue to be high on the agenda of LeT,” petroleum ministry wrote on April 4 to ONGC, Indian Oil, Reliance, Essar, HPCL-Mittal, GAIL and other refineries.
“It is necessary to strengthen security of the oil installation to prevent any untoward incident,” it said.
The letter specifically mentions refineries and pipelines around Amritsar, Bhatinda, Jamnagar, which houses India’s largest refineries by Reliance, Essar and LN Mittal and HPCL combine.
The refinery of Reliance at Jamnagar in Gujarat is the largest in the world and processes 62 million tonnes of crude every year at a single location.
HPCL-Mittal’s joint venture refinery is also a big installation processing 9 million tonnes per annum of crude at Bhatinda in Punjab. Besides, there are crude oil pipelines carrying crude oil to these refineries, which also face similar security threats.
“LeT operatives are learnt to be collecting information on installations and pipelines in oil sector including Reliance Industries Ltd refinery at Jamnagar and installations in the vicinity of Amristar, Bhatinda and other places,” said the home ministry’s letter of April 2.