The sonic rig industry is one part of the oil exploration and drilling universe that is doing all its best to rise above the fallout of the coronavirus pandemic or COVID-19. Much like others in the business community, the plummeting market demand and the significant drop in energy prices has rendered major players in this industry to resort to the implementation of work from home options for their office-based employees.
In addition to the above measure, they also made it certain that regular health checks and monitoring are given to critical staff. By doing so, they can be certain that oil rigs, refineries, pipelines, and other similar vital infrastructure will continue to run.
Meanwhile, natural gas and major oil producers are also lobbying to make the current government administration to suspend for the time being or waive a handful of regulations that are impacting the industry. These are those policies that may impact either environmental safety or the workplace.
Is COVID-19 Affecting the Sonic Rig Industry?
As of this writing, more than 26,000,000 have been infected with the novel coronavirus and in the absence of a proper vaccine against it, authorities are at its mercy. Time is ticking and the COVID-19 will continue its rampage around the globe, wreaking havoc and death in every corner of the globe.
In the US alone, there are more than 6,000 cases already and counting. It has reached all 50 states in Washington D.C., Guam, Puerto Rico, and lastly the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Oil refineries, sonic rig farms, and other similar energy infrastructure sites will be impaired and will not be able to operate in the absence of onsite teams. Workers or staff in these sites are usually cloistered together in close quarters. This condition they are in makes them highly vulnerable to getting infected with an outbreak of COVID-19.
At the time of this writing, there is only one single case of coronavirus infection reported to have occurred at a Marathon oil refinery, this one’s located in California. This incident had the authorities shut down the facility at once, to keep those who are potentially infected off the site.
In the meantime, not a single energy facility in the US has been shut down following a COVID-19 case of infection, but it is such a relief to know that this industry is collectively working as one in putting a solid contingency plan in place. Like for instance, the Royal Dutch Shell requested their salaried staff for their Louisiana refineries to start shadowing their by the hour plant operators to begin preparing themselves in running units should the current pandemic situation necessitates them to.
On the other hand, Exxon would only give access to their control rooms trained operators at its Baytown plant. This is the one they have outside Houston, Texas. And as always, they are required to maintain social distancing at all times, a minimum of 6 feet apart from the person next to them.
There are also a handful of sonic rig refineries that take into account assigning or delegating small crews to keep their plants or facilities running still despite the ravaging pandemic. Those staff they have are confined to stay within that facility and are not allowed to leave until such time that the outbreak dissipated.