Asymptomatic screening will be the essential “ask from federal government” to help get countless individuals back to work in the North Sea, according to an industry manager.
Between significant pipeline shutdowns and regular maintenance operations, work for 8,000– 14,000 tasks this year was “scooched to the right” amid the Covid-19 break out, according to Stuart Payne, supply chain director at the Oil and Gas Authority (OGA).
Not all of that can be obtained, nevertheless the OGA and trade body Oil and Gas UK are taking a look at what may be recovered this year and in 2021 to support the supply chain.
Secret to that will be asymptomatic testing for the virus, Mr Payne stated, to guarantee a safe environment and halt the spread offshore.
” How could you try to form a maintenance opportunity in 2020, and in 2021, that could provide real value for a lot of people in the supply chain? It could keep a lot of jobs going and a lot of business going.
” Simply put, the ask from federal government is going to be around asymptomatic Covid testing.
” Could we create a safe environment, in discussion with the Health and wellness Executive, which allows people to be checked both prior to they leave, when they’re there, when they come back, to create that bridge in between those two?”
Major work on the SAGE and Forties Pipeline Systems has actually been postponed due to Covid-19, with oil firms looking for to stop non-essential work to prevent the spread of the virus, in addition to cut costs.
Speaking during an industry webinar, Mr Payne stated the OGA is in discussions with operators about which capital jobs might be securely restored up, too talks with the federal government around taking “benefit of this moment” for rewarding decommissioning work.
At present there is an arrangement for up to 100 asymptomatic offshore workers to be tested daily at a UK Government-backed centre at Aberdeen Airport, nevertheless there have been require wider screening.
North East Labour MSP Lewis Macdonald has required the Scottish Government to support the initiative, while his Conservative colleague Liam Kerr asked Nicola Sturgeon for an update on “the hold up” for screening for asymptomatic overseas employees initially Minister’s Questions this week.
She responded: “I’m pretty sure Liam Kerr has actually heard me numerous, lot of times, since I know I’ve stated it lots of, many times, discuss the issues of screening of asymptomatic individuals. Because we have more proof about asymptomatic transmission, we are broadening testing of those but concentrating on care house workers and residents in particular.
” All crucial employees that are part of the vital facilities of the country have access to screening when they are symptomatic and undoubtedly their wider families do, however we will continue to have a technique to screening that is based upon proof and suggestions, both on the medical advantages however also on the effectiveness of the testing and we will continue to keep parliament updated.”
Oil and gas workers are classed as “priority two” for screening, as important workers for important national facilities, but behind frontline NHS employees and care home workers.
Last week an exemption from quarantine steps for oil employees travelling into the UK country was revealed, due to start on June 8.
Some oil firms have booked private screening by means of The Aberdeen Clinic While the results are shown Health care Scotland, the plan is not government-backed or endorsed by Oil and Gas UK.