Oil and gas companies in Western Australia are facing the impacts of COVID-19 with the state now in a five-day lockdown.
With an emphasis on keeping their employees safe and healthy, BP, Woodside, Santos, Chevron and Strike Energy have reassured that they will remain operating during the lockdown period.
The lockdown came into play at 6pm on Sunday night and is effective until 6pm this Friday.
The Western Australian Government moved swiftly to introduce these measures based on the best of health advice due to a fast evolving situation in the state with the positive COVID-19 case detected in a hotel quarantine worker.
People are required to stay at home unless they need to: work because they can’t work from home or remotely; shop for essentials like groceries, medicine and necessary supplies; medical or health care needs including compassionate requirements and looking after the vulnerable; and exercise with only one other person, limited to one hour per day in your neighbourhood and masks must be worn.
“Western Australians have done so well for so long but this week it is absolutely crucial that we stay home, maintain physical distancing and personal hygiene and get tested,” Premier Mark McGowan said.
“Western Australians have done so well for so long but this week it is absolutely crucial that we stay home, maintain physical distancing and personal hygiene and get tested.”
The company has mobilised all of the required personnel to site to continue the operations without the need to stand down whilst quarantine is observed.
Santos, meanwhile, stated that the news of a lockdown is challenging, but it understands how how quickly outbreaks of COVID-19 can escalate.
“It means we will be able to return to more normal life sooner and keep more people safe and healthy, as long as we work together as a community and follow the rules,” a Santos spokesperson said.
“Santos provides an essential service and will continue to operate in a COVID-safe way, providing the energy needed to power hospitals, supermarkets, pharmacies and other essential industries.”
BP advised that all its sites, including retail sites, terminals and the refinery, remain operational.
“Every BP site has business continuity plans to ensure the safety and wellbeing of the public and our people while maintaining safe and reliable operations. BP is monitoring the situation closely and making the necessary adjustments at sites to ensure all measures and restrictions are implemented in line with government requirements,” a BP spokesperson explained.
Chevron emphasised that its main priorities are the health and safety of its employees, contractors and the community, as well as maintaining vital supplies of natural gas to Western Australia.
“We appreciate the government’s willingness to work with the energy industry, which is essential to the community and keeping the lights on for homes, businesses and hospitals,” a Chevron spokesperson said.
“We continue to implement precautionary measures in line with government and health authority guidelines to protect the health and safety of our workforce, partners and community. Production of natural gas continues at our Gorgon and Wheatstone facilities and while our Perth offices remain open to support critical work and business continuity, working from home arrangements have been implemented.”
In addition, Woodside advised that it is following government advice to ensure its people stay safe and healthy and that we continue to provide reliable gas supplies to our customers.