Canadian offshore regulator unveils set of measures to mitigate coronavirus impact

Coronavirus; Artist rendering; Source: Pixabay

Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board (C-NLOPB) has revealed its set of measures aimed as a response to the outbreak of the coronavirus disease.

“As the main regulatory body providing oversight to the oil and gas industry offshore Newfoundland and Labrador, we remain committed to providing sound regulatory oversight with our focus squarely on the safety and health of offshore workers and protection of the environment,” the C-NLOPB said in a statement on Tuesday.

The regulator added that it was monitoring Provincial and Federal Chief Medical Officers daily updates and that it was in contact with the Newfoundland and Labrador offshore industry’s medical service provider, Atlantic Offshore Medical Services (AOMS), the Government of Canada as well as the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, all operators and license holders in the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Area as well as Cougar Helicopters.

The regulator also added that it was holding daily conference calls with operators to monitor the status of COVID-19.

The C-NLOPB added that it was implementing recommendations from Public Health and the Government of Canada and Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, to ensure the safety of its employees and to monitor the safety of those working offshore.

Screening has been in place at the St. John’s Heliport since March 6 and includes a questionnaire and temperature scan for all personnel entering the facility, including Cougar employees.

Operators have also implemented additional screening for workers onboard supply vessels and for workers who are off-hitch.

The petroleum board stated that all operators had appropriate plans in place and were in communication with each other as well as with appropriate regulators, to ensure a consistent basin-wide response.

“Safety is top of mind for everyone involved and both operators and the C-NLOPB are prepared to respond immediately to the rapidly changing response to COVID-19,” the regulator said.

Offices of the C-NLOPB are closed to external visitors and non-essential employees are being asked to stay at home and those who can already work from home to do so.

The announcement by the C-NLOPB comes nearly a week after the Norwegian oil regulator and offshore safety authority introduced measures for restricting the spread of the coronavirus on oil and gas facilities in the country.

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