Dutch oil and gas sector and the Corona virus
The Corona virus is keeping us all busy. Dutch oil and gas production has been identified by the government as a vital process. The sector is taking measures to protect the health of the on- and offshore employees, while continuing the production at the same time. The NOGEPA members are working together as much as possible to coordinate this.
The production locations on land and at sea are in full operation to continue supplying oil and gas. A number of measures must be taken to make this possible today’s situation. For example, State Supervision of Mines and the Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment have indicated that it is possible to change the working shifts to three weeks on and off, on the offshore platforms, instead of the regular two weeks on and off. This is to further limit the number of contact between people and thus limit the risk of spreading the Corona virus. In addition, offshore employees who go to work by helicopter are seen by a doctor before checking in at Den Helder Airport to check whether they may be infected with the virus. An infrared camera hanging in Den Helder Airport also can automatically detect whether someone has a fever. These measures are to prevent people from posing a potential risk to the helicopter crew or their offshore colleagues. They will not be allowed to board the helicopter if they pose a risk of contaminating others.
If someone unexpectedly falls ill while on a platform at sea, a doctor will determine whether this person should be brought back to land. Depending on the physician’s assessment of the nature of their symptoms, they will be brought back to land on a regular helicopter or, if suspected of infection with the Corona virus, with a helicopter hired by NOGEPA that will permanently be available for this purpose. In the situation that the physician assesses the situation as life-threatening, the SAR helicopter will be put into use. These procedures and services, which have been organized surrounding the Corona virus, have succesfully been made use of over the past week.
The NOGEPA operators have all set up ‘Corona virus crisis teams’. An assessment is made each day, whether the measures taken need to be tightened up or adjusted. As with other companies, employees have been asked to work from home, limit travel and hold meetings virtually as much as possible. A limited number of ‘crucial functions’ as identified by companies themselves, in order to keep their operations running, remain occupied. With all these measures, we expect the Dutch oil and gas production to continue under these unique circumstances.
NOGEPA is closely following the developments of the Corona virus and is making the necessary adjustments and precautions related to this. NOGEPA will follow the policy of RIVM (Netherlands National Institute for Public Health and the Environment) on this issue. For more general information on the developments of the Corona virus and specific procedures that need to be followed we refer you to the Rijksoverheid website.
The government has designated several companies and processes as being vital for the functioning of the country (find here). Parents or carers who fulfill an indispensable function with regards to one of these ‘vital processes’, can make use of childcare services. The vital processes, which have been recognized in relation to our sector, include:
- Gas production, national transport and distribution
- Regional gas production
- Oil supply
We suggest to NOGEPA members to identify within your own organizations, which people and functions are identified as ‘vital’ and provide these employees with the needed and approved documentation that will allow them to travel etc. should that become necessary for the continued operations of your business.
Should you have any questions in reference to the measures being taken, please contact the NOGEPA secretariat for further information (firstname.lastname@example.org).