25 Mar 2020

World’s energy balance impacted by Covid-19

As global demand for fuel dwindles due to lockdown across many nations, the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) has stated that the coronavirus pandemic has impacted the world’s energy balance greatly.

Director/Chief Executive Officer of DPR, Sarki Auwalu in a chat with The Guardian, said that with the lockdown across several countries, therefore limiting movement of people and goods, energy balance has been disrupted.

“I will say this is a pandemic that the whole world is facing. Coronavirus is something that has had huge impact on energy balance of the world. Once people cannot move, aircraft cannot fly; once energy demand is low, definitely the industry will go low.

“So, for DPR, we are very careful as we relate with a lot of international oil companies, international service providers, as people fly from different parts of the world and work in the facilities that we monitor, so we consider it very critical”, he added.

Besides, in furtherance of its regulatory functions, notwithstanding the coronavirus pandemic, the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) has adopted additional measures for personnel travelling to offshore/remote locations in the nation’s oil and gas industry.

Specifically, the agency noted that all travelers to and from offshore/remote locations shall strictly be in line with guidelines and procedure for travel to such locations and obtainment of offshore safety permit of 2019.

“Only staff on essential duties shall be nominated and permitted to travel to offshore/remote locations. Non-essential staff currently at offshore/remote locations should be withdrawn with immediate effect.

“Staff rotation less than 28 days is hereby temporarily suspended. This implies that staffs are required to stay a minimum of 28 days at these locations per rotation. However, please note that Sections 4.3 and 4.4 of the guidelines still applies.

“Representation by government agencies at the offshore/remote locations shall be limited to a maximum of one person by rotation”, a statement from the DPR Director, read in part.

Similarly, the agency noted that it had taken proactive steps to realign its operations towards ensuring personnel safety and business continuity across the industry.

According to the DPR, the measures include limiting official meetings and engagements, restriction on travels & tours, promoting social distancing, enhanced screening as well as good personal hygiene.

“Although this will impact on normal business operations, the Department will ensure continuous support to your operations through communication channels including video conferencing, online meetings, use of emails, phone calls, etc.

“To this end, you may wish to transmit your correspondences to the Department through the e-mail address: dpr@dpr.gov.ng

“In light of the foregoing, you are hereby advised to adopt similar measures in your offices and areas of operations to assist in containing this scourge. We crave your understanding on this matter as we look forward to returning to normal operational practices imminently”, it added.