Chevron, Hess Mandate Covid Vaccines for U.S. Gulf Platforms
(Bloomberg) -- Chevron Corp. and Hess Corp. stepped up the oil industry’s attempts to protect workers from Covid-19 by requiring vaccines for employees who work on platforms in the Gulf of Mexico.
Chevron’s mandate applies to some onshore support personnel as well as those working offshore, the company said in a statement. Hess is requiring its employees who work in the Gulf to be fully vaccinated by Nov. 1.
The new rules come as Covid-19 cases surge in the southern U.S., especially in Texas and Louisiana where much of the industry is based. Offshore workers are particularly vulnerable because of the confined areas in which they work and live, often for weeks at a time. Chevron had previously required employees on its ships to get the jab, as well as for some business travel.
In a further sign of companies encouraging vaccinations, Schlumberger, the world’s biggest oil-services provider, said some customers are requiring its staff be vaccinated and tested prior to arriving on job sites. It’s not hard to see why: vaccination rates across the U.S. have stalled in recent months leading to a surge in infections, mostly among the unvaccinated population.
Pioneer Natural Resources Co., one of the biggest shale oil producers in the Permian Basin, said earlier this month about 35% of its employees in the field are vaccinated compared to about 80% at its headquarters in Irving, Texas. Devon Energy Corp., which predominately drills onshore, is offering employees $500 to show proof of vaccination by Oct. 15, but does not have a mandate currently, the company said in a statement.
Last week, Exxon Mobil Corp. introduced a mask mandate for unvaccinated individuals working inside where they cannot socially distance, the company said in a statement. ConocoPhillips has screening mechanisms at its field operations as well as mask and distancing requirements for indoor work, the company said, though it does not currently have a mandate for jabs.
All the oil companies contacted by Bloomberg said they encourage their employees to get the vaccine.
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