The coronavirus needs no introduction. Everyone knows about it, and one way or another, everyone’s felt the impact it had on our lives. Entire industries have been affected by this historical pandemic.
The effects of COVID-19 have been felt in the oil and gas industry as well. From individuals being sent on furlough to companies having to drastically change their long-term plans, everyone has had to adjust. The impact is especially noticeable when it comes to offshore oil rigs.
Offshore oil rig construction and maintenance have slowed due to the effects of the coronavirus. Learn more about how the industry has been affected here. #coronavirus #COVID19 #BOPProducts Click To Tweet
Contract Termination or Delays
As several English companies have discovered, potential clients (or even current clients) are attempting to back out of contracts. While exact reasons may vary, with some clients pointing to applicable legal restrictions and others to virus concerns, the trend continues. The situation becomes particularly complex when the law is involved. Many laws and regulations involving drilling cover a variety of circumstances, but relatively few provide advice on how to deal with a worldwide pandemic.
Quarantining and social distancing are both far more complicated on an oil rig. For instance, would repair or maintenance workers be considered nonessential and discouraged from traveling to an offshore rig? What restrictions or safety checks are oil companies required to implement during shift changes? Would shift changes even be allowed, effectively trapping many employees on their rigs until further notice?
No company or legal guidelines have provided a satisfactory answer yet. For now, oil companies should focus on communicating effectively and openly with all their employees, their local government, and local healthcare professionals to find a plausible solution.
Pro Tip: Oil and gas companies must monitor changes to international law to stay legally compliant as they deal with the impact of COVID-19.
With signs of some governments relaxing their restrictions on businesses, it’s possible that the oil industry will be up and running better than ever in just a few short weeks. But with every press release, something new is discovered and the projected end date is pushed out that much farther. All the industry can do for now is watch and wait.
Connect with us to learn more about our response to the coronavirus epidemic.