Lagos — The Department of Petroleum Resources, DPR has expressed concern over increased cases of the COVID-19 virus in the oil and gas industry.
In a circular, the Department called out oil and gas companies located especially in the offshore areas, and accused them of non-compliance with established protocols aimed at containing the pandemic.
The circular read: “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 DPR.
According to the circular, non-compliance with safety protocols had led to increased cases.
“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.”
According to the circular, such act of non-compliance can severely disrupt activities in the industry which is a critical sector of the Nigerian economy.
It added that non-adherence to protocols puts everyone at risk as COVID-19 does not recognise profession, level, or cadre.
“Consequently, and pursuant to Regulation 45 of the Petroleum (Drilling & Production) Regulations, 1969, no personnel (including government authorities) shall be permitted to embark to offshore and remote locations in the oil and gas industry without being fully subjected to established protocols.
“Furthermore, all operators are to ensure that evidence of compliance with the protocols by personnel traveling to offshore and remote locations are 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.