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New rules for oil and gas operators amid COVID-19 outbreaks

23 Mar 2020 2:23 PM | Sonia Harvey (Administrator)

CHAMBER of Minerals and Energy Western Australia chief executive Paul Everingham has said the new WA government rules that have effectively shut down the state’s border, will see fly-in-fly-out worker flights “massively curtained” with the majority of non-essential staff now sent home. 

Critical oil and gas facilities will continue to operate Everingham said over the weekend, but worker health and safety in the resources sector is the top priority.  

All entry to Western Australia will be restricted, by road, rail, air, and sea from 1.30pm AWST on Tuesday.  

"We're taking extraordinary measures to ensure our workforce and the communities in which we operate are not impacted," Mr Everingham said at a press conference alongside WA state premier Mark McGowan yesterday.   

"Now is not the time to think about profitability," he added.  

More than 240,000 people are directly employed across Australia's mining and energy resources industry. Around 100,000 of these work in Western Australia.  

Under the new rules initiated by the government, some FIFO personnel will still be allowed to enter and depart on dedicated charter aircraft that leave from Perth airport and arrive at specific oil and gas facilities.  

However, all workers will be required to undergo testing at facilities and checks will need to occur before interstate staff can enter sites.  

Each oil and gas facility will now be required to have trained medical professionals, including doctors, onsite to manage potential outbreaks of COVID19.  

Operators will also need to create specific quarantine zones and specialised isolation facilities. 

Source: Energy News Bulletin

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