A commemorative postage stamp on A Hundred Years of Oil :
Issued on Dec 29, 1989
Description of Designs : Designs for stamp and First Day Cover have been furnished by Oil India Ltd. Cancellation design is by Ms. Alka Sharma.
Type : Stamp, Mint Condition
Colour : Single Colour
Denomination : 60 Paise
Overall size : 3.34 x 2.88 cms.
Printing size : 2.98 x 2.52 cms.
Perforation : 13 x 13
Paper : Indigenous un W/M P.G. Coated gummed stamp paper
Number Printed : 15,00,000
Number per issue sheet : 42
Printing Process : Photogravure
Printed : India Security Press
- The Indian Petroleum industry is completing hundred years in 1989 because oil in commercial quantities was discovered in Digboi, Assam, in 1889.
- Drilling was started at Digboi Well No. 1 in September 1989. The first gush of oil was struck a month later at 178 feet and in November 1890 the well was completed to a depth of 662 feet as an oil producer. A total of a thousand and one wells were drilled in Digboi. The oilfield, being operated by Oil India Limited, is still producing, making it perhaps the only continuously producing oilfield of this vintage in the world.
- Oil in the Digboi oilfield is in very shallow zones and sometimes seeps to the surface. The story of oil discovery in Digboi oilfield is quite interesting. An elephant working for the Assam Railways and Trading Company used to go through the jungles carrying logs. One day when the elephant returned to the camp, oil was noticed on its feet. His masters retraced the elephant’s steps into the forest and found bubbles of oil seeping from the ground. “Dig, boy dig!“ exclaimed the Englishman to his workers in his excitement on seeing the oil. Thus the name Digboi found a place in the petroleum history of India.
- The Petroleum industry has come a long way in these 100 years. Today, there is hardly any sector of the economy which is not directly or indirectly affected by the availability and prices of petroleum products. The crucial role of this industry in the economic life of the nation has led to a step up of activities in the petroleum sector in recent times. The country presently produces about 32 million tonnes of oil and 12,700 million cubic meters of natural gas per year. Together with imported crude the country’s 12 operating refineries process/refine about 50 million tonnes of crude oil per year. Additional capacity of about 12 million tonnes per year will be added when the refineries at Karnal, Mangalore and Assam are completed shortly [all the statistics and apprehensions given here were at the time of issuance of this stamp, i.e. 1989].
- The oil sector provides for about 50% of the commercial energy needs of the country. With the same spirit of pioneerism that discovered Digboi Oilfield a hundred years ago, exploration efforts are being intensified, production of oil and gas being accelerated and a general improvement is being brought about to energy management systems.
- In the 100th year of the Petroleum industry which coincide with the birth centenary of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, the oil sector was poised to execute the vision of Panditji in making India a progressive and developed nation-state of the world.
- Text : Courtesy Oil India Ltd.