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Equinor reported the oil trade’s first coronavirus an infection on an offshore set upon Wednesday, highlighting the problem in stopping contamination for hundreds of employees residing within the shut quarters on rigs and platforms.

A employee was in isolation on the Norwegian vitality agency’s Martin Linge oil and fuel platform off Norway the place manufacturing is because of begin on the finish of this 12 months, the corporate stated. It stated it might minimize exercise on the area, however personnel would stay at installations, whereas employees would cut back conferences and sit additional aside in canteens to forestall additional contamination.

It has 776 folks engaged on the challenge unfold throughout three installations, Martin Linge, the Maersk Intrepid drilling rig and the Floatel Endurance lodging rig.


The firm was additionally ready for check outcomes from two different folks, it stated. The case highlights the chance for the trade, which is already reeling from the crash in crude costs after Russia and Saudi Arabia disagreed over output cuts.

Offshore oil installations, which account for a few quarter of whole international oil output, are as weak to the epidemic as cruise ships, funding financial institution Stifel stated in a word.

Oil employees come from completely different nations, work in shut proximity and share the identical helicopters and airports to fly to rigs, making it tough to forestall contamination, it added.

“Our conversations with trade counsel screening measures are being deployed, however as with airports these are more likely to be solely reasonably efficient,” Stifel stated.

Equinor stated it had taken steps earlier than the analysis, together with asking staff and suppliers to keep away from visiting its workplace or remaining onshore for a minimum of 14 days if they’d beforehand traveled to high-risk areas, akin to China or Italy.

The contaminated individual, who had just lately been to Austria, arrived on the Martin Linge platform, situated 160 km out within the North Sea, on March four and was remoted 5 days later, it stated.

Equinor Chief Executive Eldar Saetre advised Reuters final week shutting down manufacturing could be the “final resort” if any individual examined constructive for coronavirus. “Business continuity is the idea that we’re engaged on, how can we proceed the enterprise,” he stated.

Norway, western Europe’s prime oil and fuel producer, has between eight,000 and 10,000 folks working at offshore manufacturing platforms, drilling rigs and provide vessels at any given time, trade information reveals. MARKET IMPACT If offshore oil output is minimize resulting from coronavirus by a minimum of 10% from round 27 million barrels per day (bpd), it might have a much bigger influence on international provide than the failed OPEC-Russia deal to chop output by 1.5 million bpd, Stifel stated.

Norway produces about 2% of world oil and is the second-largest pure fuel provider to Europe after Russia. Crude streams from Norwegian fields Ekofisk, Oseberg and Troll are included in S&P Global Platts dated Brent value evaluation, the worldwide value benchmark. Rival producers are taking steps to forestall contamination.

Italy’s Eni, whose subsidiary operates the Arctic Goliat area in Norway, stated it had taken measures to guard workers, with out elaborating. Repsol, which is creating the Yme oilfield off Norway, stated it was following official tips for infectious illnesses whereas Austrian OMV stated it had contingency plans, however didn’t disclose any particulars.

Frode Alfheim, the pinnacle of Norway’s largest oil employees…

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