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Nickname(s): The Oil Town
Digboi is located in Assam
Location in Assam, India
Coordinates: 27°23′N 95°38′E / 27.38°N 95.63°E / 27.38; 95.63Coordinates: 27°23′N 95°38′E / 27.38°N 95.63°E / 27.38; 95.63
Country  India
State Assam
District Tinsukia
Elevation 165 m (541 ft)
Population (2001)
 • Total 20,405
 • Official Assamese
Time zone IST (UTC+5:30)
PIN 786171

Digboi (IPA: ˈdɪgˌbɔɪ) (Assamese: ডিগবৈ) is a town and a town area committee in Tinsukia district in the north-eastern part of the state of Assam, India

Crude oil was discovered here in late 19th century. Digboi is known as the Oil City of Assam where the first oil well in Asia was drilled. The first refinery was started here as early as 1901. Digboi has the oldest oil well in operation.[1] With a significant number of British professionals working for Assam Oil Company until the decade following independence of India, Digboi had a well-developed infrastructure and a number of bungalows unique to the town. It has eighteen holes golf course as part of the Digboi Club. It has guest houses and tourist residential apartments laid on Italian architectural plan to promote tourism in upper Assam.


"‘Dig boy, dig’, shouted the Canadian engineer, Mr W L Lake, at his men as they watched elephants emerging out of the dense forest with oil stains on their feet".[2] This is possibly the most distilled – though fanciful – version of the legend explaining the siting and naming of Digboi. Two events separated by seven years have become fused, but although neither is likely to be provable, such evidence that does exist appears sufficiently detailed to be credible.
Various web sites offer variations on the elephant’s foot story, a consensus of which would be that engineers extending the Dibru-Sadiya railway line to Ledo for the Assam Railways and Trading Company (AR&TC) in 1882 were using elephants for haulage and noticed that the mud on one pachyderm’s feet smelled of oil. Retracing the trail of footprints, they found oil seeping to the surface. One of the engineers, the Englishman (not Canadian) William Lake (aka "Willie Leova" Lake), was an ‘oil enthusiast’ and persuaded the company to drill a well.
Oil India Ltd makes no reference to elephants’ feet in its company history,[3] although on its previous web site the company noted that Lake had noticed "the oil seepages around Borbhil". Once the project had been approved, Lake assembled equipment, boilers, and local labour, and engaged elephants to haul the machinery to the site. The first well was started in September 1889, but an encouraging first strike at 178 feet (54 m) turned out to be a small pocket, and drilling recommenced. This continued until November 1890 when the well was completed at a total depth of 662 feet (202 m), and it was during this extended period of drilling that Oil India's old web site placed the legend of Lake exhorting one or more of his labourers to "Dig, boy!"

Digboi as an oil town[edit]

It is said that the town gets its name from the phrase "dig-boy-dig," which is what the English told the labourers as they dug for crude oil. The town's history begins in 1867 when a small group of men from the Assam Railway and Trading Co. found their elephants' legs soaked in black mud, that smelt somewhat like oil. The men began exploring more, and in 1889, the English started a small oil installation. India (and Asia) obtained its first refinery in Digboi in the year 1901. Assam Oil Company was formed in 1899 to look after the running of the oil business in this area. The Digboi oil field produced close to 7,000 barrels per day (1,100 m3/d) of crude oil at its peak, which was during World War II. The field was pushed to produce the maximum amount of oil with little regard to reservoir management; as a result, production started to drop almost immediately after the war. The current production from the Digboi fields is about 240 barrels per day (38 m3/d). Over 1,000 wells have been drilled at Digboi – the first well in 1889 had stuck oil at 178 feet (54 m). In 1989, the Department of Posts, India came out with a stamp commemorating 100 years of the Digboi fields.

Today, though the crude production is not high, Digboi has the distinction of being India's oldest continuously producing oilfield. Digboi refinery, now a division of Indian Oil Corporation, had a capacity of about 0.65 MMTPA as of 2003. The Digboi refinery is the world's oldest oil refinery still in operation.

Digboi is now Headquarter of Assam Oil Division of Indian Oil Corporation Limited. The Earliest recorded to the existence of oil in India is found in the memories and dispatches of the Army Officers who penetrated the jungles of Upper Assam since 1825. Lt. R. Wilcox, Major A. White, Capt. Francis Jenkins, Capt. P.S. Hanney—they all saw at different times petroleum exuding from banks of the Dihing River. Mr. C.A. Bruce (1828) and Mr. H.B. Medicott (1865) of the Geological Survey of India also saw oil while prospecting for coal in Upper Assam.

Mr. Goodenough of McKillop, Stewart & Co. Calcutta was the first in India to start a systematic programme of drilling for oil in November 1886, at Nahorpung about 30 miles (48 km) south east of Dibgoi, just seven years after the world's first commercial oil well was drilled in 1859, by Col Willam Drake in Pennsylvania, USA. This hand dug well—the first oil well in India—was drilled up to 102 feet (31 m) and proved dry. However the second well struck oil at Makum near Tinsukia, about 14 miles (23 km) from Digboi.

In 1939, there was a major labour union strike in the Refinery. The Gandhi Movement of Congress for Indian Independence struggle; backed by labour rights and equality status was headed by Sardar Amar Singh Marwah. The break of the World War II coincided with the Digboi labour strike resulted in harsh steps taken by the British Administrative offices to crush the strike. The Viceroy and the Governor had intervened to bring a settlement adopting sturdy steps were take to crush the union by shooting down of the president of the labour union to be followed by issuing orders of Quit Digboi, Quit Lakhimpur and finally Quit Assam to the leaders of the labour union.

Digboi Refinery[edit]

For more details on this topic, see Digboi Refinery.

The Digboi Refinery modernization project was taken up in large scale in order to overcome the technological obsolescence of the old refinery. Subsequently a number of other major projects were undertaken by Assam Oil Division to further revamp and modernise Digboi Refinery.Digboi refinery has been awarded the ISO-14001 and OHSMC certificate.


Digboi is located at 27°23′N 95°38′E / 27.38°N 95.63°E / 27.38; 95.63.[4] It has an average elevation of 165 metres (541 ft).It is situated 510 km north east of Guwahati.


As of 2001 India census,[5] Digboi had a population of 20,405. Males constitute 54% of the population and females 46%. Digboi has an average literacy rate of 81%, higher than the national average of 59.5%: male literacy is 85% and, female literacy is 77%. In Digboi, 10% of the population is under 6 years of age.

Digboi Oil Town was considered as a separate census town in 2001 India census.[5] As of 2001 India census, Digboi Oil Town had a population of 16,584. Males constitute 52% of the population and females 48%. Digboi Oil Town has an average literacy rate of 82%, higher than the national average of 59.5%: male literacy is 84% and, female literacy is 79%. In Digboi Oil Town, 10% of the population is under 6 years of age.

Culture & economy[edit]

Digboi has always retained a British-influenced culture years into independence. Club going, golfing, swimming and tennis were lifestyles of most Digboites since a long time back. Indian Oil corporation(Assam oil division) then known as Assam Oil Company runs its oil refinery in Digboi - "the oldest operational refinery in the world". Oil is third-largest industry of Assam contributing to the state economy trailing behind tea and timber. Dibrugarh Airport is the nearest Airport connecting to this oil town.Muliabari is an important location of Digboi.Balaka is an important socio cultural organization.

Places of interest[edit]

Digboi Golf Club has an 18-hole golf course. Digboi Centenary Museum shows the history of this town.Digboi has a multicultural society with temples,gurudwaras,churches,namghars etc. The main festivals celebrated here are durga puja,kali puja and bihu. The main markets are charali bazar,teenali bazar,ioc new market and muliabari market.

Digboi war cemetery

Education and research[edit]

Digboi has many educational institutions:


  • Digboi College, Digboi (Estd. 1965)
  • Digboi Mahila Mahavidyalaya, Digboi(Estd. 1981)
  • R.D. Junior College, Digboi


  • Balika Vidya Mandir, Digboi
  • Carmel School, Digboi
  • Delhi Public School, Digboi
  • Oil Valley School, Bogapani, Digboi
  • Shishu Niketan, Digboi (Estd.1989)
  • The Little Stars Senior Secondary School, Digboi
  • Vivekananda Academy, Golai-3,Digboi
  • Vivekananda Vidyalaya, Missionpara, Digboi
  • Janata School
  • EPITOME IT Education Society
  • Sister Nivedita



Digboi is part of Dibrugarh (Lok Sabha constituency) which is represented by Mr Rameswar Teli of Bharatiya Janata Party. [6]

See also[edit]


External links[edit]

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digboi — Please support Wikipedia.
This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia. A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia.
2040 videos foundNext > 

Memories of Digboi

Some memories of my janmo Bhumi. Thanks to Jitu for the Photographs. :-).

Indian Oil | Digboi Refinery


its a small video abt digboi,assam.

DPS Digboi Teacher's Day Celebration (2013-2014)

Songs: Boulevard of Broken Dreams(Green Day) And Pichle Saat Dino Mei(Rock On!!) Lead guitarist:Gautam Baruah Bass guitarist:Tonmoy Das Singers:Abhilash Pato...

Shreya Ghoshal Live At Digboi

Shreya Ghoshal singing live at Digboi Jubilee Ground on 1st September 2009,on the occasion of Indian Oil's Golden Jubilee celebrations.

dps digboi 2012 .wmv


Carmel School,Digboi

school in digboi.

Pool Fire digboi Slide 5


ranjit sir(chemistry) on our farewell.

digboi basketball

2040 videos foundNext > 

7 news items

Assam Tribune
Mon, 20 Oct 2014 11:33:45 -0700

DIGBOI, Oct 20 – As part of tributary services to the genius of music maestro, Dr Bhupen Hazarika, IOCL-AOD is organizing a three-day-long prize-money competition on Bhupendra Sangeet at Digboi from October 31. The state-level competition will be held ...
Tue, 21 Oct 2014 04:19:59 -0700

... Guwahati 87 84 87 499 506 IOC, Barauni 542 391 549 3122 3125 IOC, Koyali 678 1029 918 6624 6077 IOC, Haldia 635 622 692 3843 3969 IOC, Mathura 613 639 590 4245 4014 IOC, Digboi 7 51 58 304 326 IOC, Panipat 1331 1163 1302 6532 7337 IOC, ...
Assam Tribune
Wed, 22 Oct 2014 12:41:15 -0700

DIGBOI, Oct 22 – The big factories operating in Margherita subdivision have thrown the small tea growers of the subdivision to dark despair with their iron fists in velvet gloves policies. They begin to implement the policy from September every year ...
Assam Tribune
Tue, 21 Oct 2014 11:11:15 -0700

On the other, three permanent principals from Demow, Majuli and Digboi are running from pillar to post to derail the process of recruitment as they have their eyes trained on the coveted chair and are pushing for transfer,” alleged the sources, adding ...
Assam Tribune
Sun, 19 Oct 2014 11:00:00 -0700

DIGBOI, Oct 19 – PC Halder, member of the National Security Advisory Board, Government of India, termed the 'Look East Policy' as the second birth of India in his address as the chairperson of the plenary session of the international seminar on the ...
Thu, 25 Sep 2014 14:08:58 -0700

... 5.62 7.40 0.59 0.55 2.10 -6.13 Panipat 300,000 3.35 5.68 4.39 3.34 3.62 3.30 Guwahati* 20,000 7.44 10.01 11.94 9.52 6.38 -6.65 Digboi* 14,000 18.61 16.98 14.85 20.81 15.41 2.47 Bongaigaon* 48,000 5.23 5.23 6.25 5.26 6.71 5.10 AVERAGE GRMs 4.47 ...
Wed, 24 Sep 2014 03:14:27 -0700

... 512 563 2732 2575 IOC, Koyali 1201 1112 1035 5595 5159 IOC, Haldia 640 650 688 3221 3277 IOC, Mathura 619 663 626 3606 3424 IOC, Digboi 61 46 60 252 268 IOC, Panipat 1375 1315 1371 5369 6035 IOC, Bongaigaon 207 194 199 912 935 BPCL, ...

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