A commemorative postage stamp on the 100 years of Digboi Oil Refinery (1901-2001), the oldest refinery in Asia :
Issued by India
Issued on Dec 18, 2001
Issued for : Department of Posts in happy to release a commemorative postage stamp on completion of 100 years of Digboi Refinery.
Stamp & FDC : Kamleshwar Singh
Cancellation : Alka Sharma
Type : First Day Cover
Colour : Four Colour
Denomination : 400 Paise
Overall size : 2.90 x 3.91 Cms.
Perforation : 13 x 13
Paper : Imported un w/m stamp paper
Stamps Printed : 0.8 million
Number per issue sheet : 40
Printing Process : Photo Offset
Printer : Eagle Press Pvt. Ltd.
- History was made more than a century back in a remote corner of Assam in the midst of dense jungles when a group of Italian Engineers, commissioned by the Assam Railways and Trading Company to build a railway line from Dibrugarh to Margherita accidentally discovered oil. It was here in Digboi that the first commercially viable oil well in India, known locally as well no. 1, was successfully drilled in September 1889 and the first modern refinery in India was built and commissioned in December 1901.
- Digboi Refinery is India’s first refinery and one of the oldest operating refineries in the world. In fact, it was the only refinery in India till mid 1950s. The capacity of the refinery was expanded over the years in order to process the increasing crude oil production from the Digboi Oil Field and subsequent discovery of Nahorkatiya fields in 1953. Earlier owned and operated by the Assam Oil Company Limited, a subsidiary of the Burmah Oil Company Limited, Digboi Refinery was vested with the IOCL by an Act of Parliament on 14th October 1981. Digboi, is now the headquarters of the Assam Oil Division of the Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL) also.
- Digboi Refinery was rebuilt in 1923 and most of the units were of 1930 vintage till it came into the fold of IOCL in 1981. Since then, large scale investments have been made by IOCL in the refinery. A modern Crude Oil Distillation Unit along with associated utilities and offsite facilities was commissioned in 1996. Subsequently, a Catalytic Reformer Unit, a New Delayed Coking Unit and a Wax Hydrofinishing Unit were commissioned between 1997 and 2001 and the refinery capacity was also enhanced. A state-of-the-art Vacuum Residue Short Path Distillation Unit for producing improved quality Bitumen and feedstock for high melting Point Microcrystalline Wax was commissioned in April 2001. With two more major ongoing projects viz. Solvent Dewaxing Unit and Kerosene/Diesel Hydrotreater, Digboi Refinery will soon complete its transition to a state-of-the-art refinery. With assimilation of technology and development of infrastructure, Digboi Refinery is striving to achieve higher standards of excellence in all fields of operation including safety and environment protection. The refinery is already certified for ISO-9002, ISO-14001, BS-8800 and has an ISRS rating at level 5 in the baseline audit. The refinery produces a wide range of petroleum products including wax, bitumen and also a number of speciality products. The paraffin wax produced in the refinery is one of the finest in the world.
- Petroleum has revolutionised our life, as a source of energy for domestic, industrial and transport sector and as a feedstock for agricultural, chemical and other industries. Over the past 100 years, petroleum industry of India with Digboi Refinery as its nucleus has been an integral part of our country’s march towards self-reliance.
- Text : Based on material furnished by the sponsors.