Sunday, April 29, 2012

Samudra Manthan and Kumbh mela

This is a story of Offshore engineering and Petroleum engineering. 

Once upon a time in India, there was energy crisis.
Due to over-population and overcrowding of the Indian subcontinent (from Himalaya  to the Hind MahaSagar), the land resources started getting depleted. The land was ruled by two powerful political forces : the North and the South. They met and decided to explore the resources of the sea. 
Once upon a time in India, offshore oil exploration was undertaken.
Soil testing located the petroleum seats in the ocean bed, which lay in between the Indian tectonic plate (Gondwana Land) and the Arabian tectonic plate. Expert teams from both the kingdoms reached the Malabar Coast. Drilling began in full earnest.
After the crust was dug, the top layer of the petroleum store, a layer of natural gas, was exposed. It also contained poisonous gases like NOx, SOx, Ammonia (NH3), Hydrogen Sulphide (H2S), and Phosphine (PH3). This deadly gaseous mixture was named Halaahala or Kalkoot Vish. It was separated by dissolving in mud, and allowing the lighter petroleum to decant.
Then the liquid petroleum was extracted and distilled. This is a mixture of various hydrocarbons of a range of molecular weights. Fractional distillation evolved 14 distillates (14 Ratnas). Both the political forces wanted the offshore resources for themselves, but it was unevenly shared after a confused battle, murky politics, and a compromise. All of these substances were used by the people for various everyday purposes. It became the main source of energy, which sustained life (Amrit).
The offshore drilling spot stands today as Bombay High, off the Malabar coast.

Once upon a time in India, oil refineries were set up.
The extracted petroleum was distilled, refined, and stored in gigantic containers shaped like Kumbh (urn). Four such refineries came up in Nashik (Maharashtra), Ujjain (Madhya Pradesh), Allahabad (Uttar Pradesh), and Haridwar (Uttarakhand). These places celebrate the Kumbh Mela to this day.

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