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The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) has expressed concern over non-compliance to established protocols aimed at the containing COVID-19 pandemic by some oil and gas companies.

The DPR, which is the regulator of the Nigerian oil and gas industry, made this known in a circular to the companies on the management of Coronavirus.

A copy of the circular was sighted by TBI Africa on Tuesday in Lagos.

The circular read: “We wish to commend your efforts in implementing stringent measures to contain the spread of COVID-19 in your immediate environment and areas of operations in line with government’s directives and circulars issued by the DPR.

“In spite of these efforts, the industry has sadly recorded COVID-19 cases in some offshore and remote locations, many of which are linked to non-adherence to established protocols.

“It is worrisome to note that some personnel of government authorities do not subject themselves to the controlled isolation period which forms part of the protocol for the management of COVID-19 by operators prior to embarking to these locations.”

According to the circular, such act of non-compliance can severely disrupt activities in the industry which is a critical sector of the Nigerian economy.

It added that non-adherence to protocols puts everyone at risk as COVID-19 does not recognise profession, level or cadre.

“Consequently, and pursuant to Regulation 45 of the Petroleum (Drilling & Production) Regulations, 1969, no personnel (including government authorities) shall be permitted to embark to offshore and remote locations in the oil and gas industry without being fully subjected to established protocols.

“Furthermore, all operators are to ensure that evidence of compliance with the protocols by personnel travelling to offshore and remote locations are duly documented.

“For the avoidance of doubt, no personnel shall be granted waiver of any sort. This is for your immediate and strict implementation,” the circular read.