Equinor has decided to evacuate scores of personnel from its Martin Linge platform to reduce the risk of infection on the facility after a worker confirmed as having the Corvid-19 virus was airlifted to shore — while Spanish energy giant Repsol has also confirmed that one of its employees has contracted the coronavirus.
A spokesman for state-controlled Equinor confirmed to Upstream the worker was now quarantined at home after being transported from the North Sea platform by helicopter.
He also said that 140 personnel are now in the process of being transported to shore from Martin Linge “in order to minimise the risk of infection for other workers” on the facility.
Equinor had previously disclosed that a total of 776 personnel were engaged in work on the field development work spread across three installations — the field platform, floating accommodation unit Floatel Endurance and jack-up rig Maersk Intrepid.
Helicopter flights to the Maersk Intrepid remained suspended on Thursday.
Equinor is still awaiting the results of tests carried out on other individuals suspected of having the virus both on Martin Linge as well as at a pair of rigs stationed at the Oseberg and Gullfaks fields.
However, the operator has so far given no information on the operational impact for the project that is due for start-up in the third quarter of this year following earlier delays.
Meanwhile, Spanish operator Repsol has disclosed that one of its employees with a commercial delegation in Andalucia, Spain has been diagnosed as having the coronavirus Covid-19.
The company said in a statement the employee began to display symptoms of the virus last weekend and did not go to work on 9 March as a consequence.
“The person is hospitalised, and their condition is not deemed serious,” Repsol stated, adding it wished the employee “a speedy recovery”.
“The company is tracking the case through its medical services in accordance with the established protocols and in co-ordination with public health authorities.”
The company has now activated a global contingency plan at all its installations to ensure the normal functioning of operations while minimising the risk of contagion.
Previously, Shell has confirmed a case of the coronavirus at its North Sea headquarters in Aberdeen.