US Energy Firms to Enforce Immunization Guidelines on Employees

ByBarbara Byrne

Aug 23, 2021

Energy firms in the US are moving to enforce COVID-19 immunization guidelines on their workers as infection rates nears the tipping point across the United States. Energy laborers, as indicated by medical surveys, are among those generally hesitant towards the vaccination program. Immunization calls have been made for employees who engage in oilfield and refinery operations following the approval of the Pfizer-BioNTech shot by the US Food and Drug Administration on Monday.

Second-biggest U.S. oil maker, Chevron Corp (NYSE:CVX), and refiner Valero Energy Corp (NYSE:VLO) will need injections for some field employees or workers that recently joined both firms. Oilfield services provider giant Schlumberger (NYSE:SLB) noted last week that a few clients have demanded that its staff be immunized or tested before showing up at their workplaces. 

Schlumberger Pledges Commitment Towards Immunization

A Schlumberger representative stated in an email that the oil firm continuously reviews its internal regulations and guidelines tailored to meet the needs of customers while also placing importance on the health and safety of its employees. 

In August, San Antonio-based Valero took the bulls by the horn to enforce immunization as a criterion for employing new workers at Texas and Louisiana oil refineries. 

Oil maker Hess (NYSE:HES) issued a circular in which it noted that it will require field employees at its U.S. Gulf of Mexico activities to be completely immunized by Nov. 1. In the circular, Hess acknowledged the highly contagious nature of the Delta strain and increasing number of coronavirus cases in the United States.

Energy and Construction Firms Still Trailing on Immunization Rates

As per an online poll conducted by Wendy King, associate professor of epidemiology at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health, energy and construction workers are trailing behind on the immunization rates. The May poll revealed that some 45% of extraction and construction workers said they were reluctant to get the antibody, compared to only 7.3% in computer and mathematical disciplines.

Chevron’s mission will cover offshore employees in the Gulf of Mexico, some onshore support staff, expatriates and workers who travel wide, the company’s representative stated in an email. Recently, Chevron stalled the complete return of workers in California and Texas to their workplaces in light of a resurgence in Covid cases associated with the widespread Delta strain.

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