The oldest oil-field in India at “Digboi”


Crude oil was exposed here in the late 19th century. Digboi is identified as the Oil City of Assam where the 1st oil well in Asia was bored. The 1st refinery was started there as early as 1901. Digboi has the oldest oil well in process.

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With a significant number of British specialists working for Assam Oil Company till the decade following the independence, Digboi had a well-developed structure and a number of bungalows unique to the town. It has 18 holes golf course as portion of the Digboi Club. It has guest houses and tourist housing apartments laid on Italian architectural plan to encourage tourism in upper Assam.

The Digboi Refinery transformation project was taken up in large scale in order to overcome the technical obsolescence of the old refinery. Subsequently, a number of other main projects were undertaken by Assam Oil Division to further refurbishment and modernize Digboi Refinery.Digboi refinery has been given the ISO-14001 and OHSMC certificate.

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It is said that the town gets its name after the phrase “dig-boy-dig,” which is what English told the labourers as they dug for crude oil. The town’s past begins in 1867 when a small set of men from the Assam Railway and Trading Co. found their elephants’ legs sodden in black mud, that found somewhat like oil. The men began discovering more, and in 1889, English started a small oil installation. India (and Asia) got its first refinery in Digboi in the year 1901. Assam Oil Company was formed in 1899 to appearance after the running of the oil business in this area. The Digboi oil field shaped close to 7,000 barrels per day (1,100 m3/d) of crude oil at its peak, which was at the time of World War II.

The field was pushed to produce the maximum quantity of oil with little regard to reservoir management; as a result, production started to droplet almost directly after the war. The present production from the Digboi fields is about 240 barrels per day (38 m3/d). Over 1,000 wells have been bored at Digboi – the 1st well in 1889 had stuck oil at 178 feet (54 m). In 1989, the Division of Posts, India came out with a stamp commemorating 100 years of the Digboi fields.

Today, though the crude production is not very high, Digboi has the distinction of being India’s oldest continuously creating oilfield. Digboi refinery, now a division of Indian Oil Corporation, had a capacity of about 0.65 MMTPA as of 2003. Digboi is now Headquarter of Assam Oil Division of Indian Oil Corporation Limited. its journey forward it believes in carrying along with it, the community with which it co-exists.

Today with its modern facilities and technology, Digboi Refinery produces major fuel products like wax, bitumen and range of speciality products. This 100-year-old Digboi refinery can very well be said a technical genius of the past and present, Digboi still has the distinction of being the world’s oldest nonstop producing oilfield. Digboi oilfield is not additional oilfield, but an oil museum with a history to be proud of.

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