Covid-19: African Energy Chamber issues urgent advisory guidelines for the management and safety of oil workers during the pandemic
Amid the ongoing effects of lockdowns in oil and gas-producing countries such as Nigeria, Angola, Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Congo, Gabon, Ghana, Equatorial Guinea, South Sudan and Cameroon, the African Energy Chamber (www.EnergyChamber.org) hereby issues pragmatic commonsense advisory guidelines for governments, oil companies and personnel.
This is aimed at mobilizing, demobilizing and putting back our energy sector to work safely across the continent. The guidelines are open for free consultation on www.EnergyChamber.org.
In light of the prolonged Covid-19 pandemic, the oil & gas industry has been heavily strained, increasing the need to pay critical attention to workers’ safety and putting in place procedures to ensure their transitioning in and out of the workplace. Currently, travel restrictions have forced oil operators to maintain their personnel for extended periods of time on remote sites, increasing the risks of Lost Time Injury.
“We must always prioritize the health, safety and well-being of brave oil workers who continue to defy insurmountable odds to keep energy production ongoing across the continent,” stated NJ Ayuk, Executive Chairman at the African Energy Chamber. “All upstream oil & gas operators are experiencing similar challenges due to reduced workforces and extended periods of lockdown and travel restrictions. Our guidelines put the safety of workers, host communities and oil operators at the core of the industry’s operations and sector recovery.”
“These non-exhaustive guidelines will assist operators and governments in ensuring the movement and safety of offshore and onshore oil workers so oil & gas operations can continue while preventing any additional spread of Covid-19,” concluded Ayuk.
In order to ensure that oil & gas health and safety standards and practices adapt to a new normal, the African Energy Chamber has worked with its partners to issue this new set of advisory guidelines. These guidelines notably take into account local regulations in host countries, and are heedful of the need to protect local communities from exposition to any potential Covid-19 transmission.
Such advisory guidelines notably include a series of agreements and protocols governing health monitoring and travel authorizations given to oil workers before, during and after their mobilization on site. They take into account the best international healthcare practices in order to ensure both a safe continuation and resumption of onshore and offshore activities, while preserving the health of oil workers, host countries and host communities.