The Department of Petroleum Resources has directed oil and gas firms to reduce the number of workers at project sites as part of measures to curb the spread of coronavirus.
The DPR, in its latest circular to operators in the nation’s oil and gas industry, described the current situation as a force majeure.
The force majeure clause is a standard clause in most contracts and it includes events such as natural disasters, wars and other occurrences not within the power or control of the executing party, which makes the implementation of the contract impossible.
The Director, DPR, Mr Sarki Auwalu, said, “All operators and their contractors are to ensure strict compliance with relevant government directives and limit the number of personnel at project/construction sites accordingly.
“The current situation is considered ‘force majeure’ to ensure the safety and welfare of all personnel and to contain the spread of COVID-19.”
He said all operators and their contractors should comply with the directives of government authorities on social distancing, curfew, lockdown, among others, as might be applicable.
“Consequently, we expect demobilisation of personnel from these sites to the extent required to satisfy the above requirements,” Auwalu added.
He said the DPR would continue to monitor the situation and provide updates as required.
Last week, the agency directed oil and gas firms to reduce the workforce on offshore platforms, saying only workers on essential duties should be nominated and permitted to travel to offshore/remote locations.
“Staff rotation less than 28 days/28 days is hereby temporarily suspended. This implies that workers are required to stay a minimum of 28 days at these locations per rotation,” it said.