How COVID-19 is threatening Nigeria’s oil output

The Directorate of Petroleum Resources (DPR) has said the rising number of coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic cases among workers at Nigeria’s offshore oilfields is threatening oil output.

In a statement obtained from the oil and gas regulatory agency’s website, the rising cases of infection among workers at the oilfield platforms is a growing threat to the country’s oil production.

According to the statement, the country failed to curb oil production quota in strict adherence with the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) agreement in an effort to ameliorate the glut in the international market.
It said that the country has now submitted a comprehensive plan on output cuts.

The statement also noted that S&P Global Platts reported that maintenance at the offshore Bonga oilfield has already been disrupted after the operator, stressing, Shell, was forced to evacuate workers due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The DPR in the report confirmed that a great deal of workers was being diagnosed with COVID-19 at offshore and remote oil locations and expressed fears it might disrupt production.

While blaming the outbreak on the personnel, who did not adhere to the rules and guidelines before leaving offshore oil locations.
But the DPR did not name the fields affected.

“Consequently no personnel (including government authorities) shall be permitted to embark to offshore /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 travelling to offshore/ remote locations is duly documented,” DPR said.

It further hinted that offshore production accounts for more than 60 per cent of Nigeria’s 2.10 million-2.20 million b/d crude and condensate output.

“The 225,000 b/d Bonga Floating Production Storage Offloading (FPSO) has been partially shut since late-May for repairs expected to run until July, according to Shell’s local subsidiary, Nigeria Exploration and Production Company.

“The affected workers were suspected to have contracted the disease at the port of Onne en route to the Bonga FPSO vessel. The disease was rampant at the Onne Port,” the report said.

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