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EghtesadOnline: Oil and gas companies including the National Iranian South Oil Company, a subsidiary of the National Iranian Oil Company, are doing their fair share in helping degrade and defeat the coronavirus, managing director of the affiliated company said on Monday.

“In addition to providing the personnel with respirators, disposable gloves, sanitizers and antiseptic solutions, we are monitoring the situation closely on off-shore and on-shore decks,” Ahmad Mohammadi was quoted as saying by IRNA.

According to Financial Tribune, the company is following procedures set by a special coronavirus committee to handle the critical situation caused by the spread of the communicable disease also known as COVID-19.

“A coronavirus case on an offshore rig could spread quickly among workers and have a devastating impact on production.”

Mohammadi asserted that work on oilfields is proceeding with production as normal, but non-critical tasks had reduced staff. 

He did not deny the fact that the virus had forced oil and gas firms (namely South Pars Gas Complex in Pars Special Energy/Economic Zone in Assaluyeh, Bushehr Province, Iran Oil Terminals Company, Arvandan Oil and Gas Company, Iranian Offshore Oil Company and Karoun Oil and Gas Production Company -- all subsidiaries of NIOC) to slow operations. 

Downstream operators are upgrading their systems and have adopted flexible routines.

Referring to other measures, he said NISOC is not the only company enforcing travel restrictions. The Iranian Central Oil Fields Company and Khazar Exploration and Production Company were among the first to announce travel restrictions for employees, and others have told workers to defer travel as part of measures to curb the spread of the deadly virus.

“Decisions on working from home and travel guidelines are made locally, based on local circumstances and in consultation with experts.”


Safety First 

Oil and gas companies in south Iran earlier said the health and safety of workers is a top priority.

No cases of Covid-19 have been confirmed on off-shore installation following tests of workers on rigs managed by NISOC and the company will end "non-essential activities" at offshore fields to reduce the risk of contagion on platforms.

The health and the safety of employees, their families and the communities in the vicinity of oil pipelines and oilfields are critically important. “We are happy to be able to continue supporting our workers as we work together to overcome this extraordinary situation.”

Safety begins at home, and companies are introducing new protocols to keep workers safe. Social distancing measures have led to massive staff cuts at offshore installations across the globe.

Spread of the highly-contagious COVID-19 disease has had no significant effect on oil and gas production in the NISOC, he added.

“Production and delivery of crude and natural gas to refineries continues without interruption from the viral outbreak,” Mohammadi said.

Energy experts say the pandemic has affected the international oil market in two ways. 

First, travel restrictions have almost collapsed demand for of jet fuel. Supply chains have slowed and industrial activity has declined as companies send workers home—meaning less oil and oil-based products are being used and produced. This has had a direct effect on oil consumption and informs near-term calculations of real oil demand. 

Second, the stock market reaction to the effect of the coronavirus on the global economy builds a projection of global oil demand over the long-term.

Iran has confirmed over 62,000 cases of infection with the new coronavirus, with almost 3,000 reported having lost their lives by Tuesday afternoon.


Iran oil gas campaign Outbreak coronavirus COVID-19 Energy Firms