The National Ocean Industries Association and the Louisiana Mid-Continent Oil & Gas Association have asked federal and Louisiana government officials for allocation of COVID-19 test kits and equipment for workers in the offshore sector.
With about 25,000 workers offshore, they say, there is an increased vulnerability to the spread of COVID-19 due to confined working environments inherent to the facilities and infrastructure that are part of offshore oil and gas production.
“The US offshore sector is doing everything in its power to keep energy flowing while mitigating the spread of COVID-19,” NOIA President Erik Milito said in a statement. “So far, industry efforts have led to remarkable results, with an exceedingly low COVID-19 spread rate, but we need access to testing and equipment to sustain this success. On offshore facilities, 100 to 200 workers are in constant proximity throughout the day. Only the widespread testing of workers can provide companies the information and assurance that COVID-19 is being fully prevented.”
LMOGA Vice President Lori LeBlanc said Louisiana is “the epicenter” of servicing the offshore oil and gas industry in the Gulf of Mexico. She characterized access to COVID-19 testing as “critical to the sustainability of producing American energy.”