COVID-19: DPR voices concern over recorded cases in offshore, remote locations

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By Ikenna Omeje

The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) has raised concern over recorded cases of COVID-19 in some offshore and remote locations, many of which are linked to non-adherence to established protocols.

This was contained in a circular by DPR to all oil and gas operators on Tuesday 23 June. The Department says some personnel of Government authorities do not subject themselves to the controlled isolation period which forms part of the protocol for the management of COVID-19 by Operators prior to embarking to offshore and remote locations.

“We wish to commend your efforts in implementing stringent measures to contain the spread of COVID-19 in your immediate environment and areas of operations in line with Government’s directives and circulars issued by the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR).  

“In spite of these efforts, the industry has sadly recorded COVID-19 cases in some offshore and remote locations, many of which are linked to non-adherence to established protocols. It is worrisome to note that some personnel of Government authorities do not subject themselves to the controlled isolation period which forms part of the protocol for the management of COVID-19 by Operators prior to embarking to these locations, said DPR.

The Department further stated that this act of non-compliance can disrupt activities in the industry as well as put everyone at risk as the virus does not recognize profession, level or cadre.

In view of the aforementioned and in pursuant to Regulation 45 of the Petroleum (Drilling & Production) Regulations, 1969, the Department has ordered that no personnel (including Government authorities) shall be allowed to embark to offshore and remote locations in the  industry without being fully subjected to established protocols. It added that no personnel shall be granted waiver of any sort.

“Furthermore, all Operators are to ensure that evidence of compliance with the protocols by personnel travelling to offshore/remote locations is duly documented.

“For the avoidance of doubt, no personnel shall be granted waiver of any sort. This is for your immediate and strict implementation,” the circular read.

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