IADC advocacy teams continue to monitor the worldwide pandemic, working alongside members to advocate for the essential nature of worldwide oil and gas drilling activities. Items of note:
- IADC Hosts Discussion on Eastern Hemisphere Pandemic Challenges On Tuesday, 7 April, IADC hosted a call uniting more than 80 members from the Eastern Hemisphere, alongside IADC Regional Representatives including Hisham Zebian, VP Eastern Hemisphere; Martin Flojgaard, Regional Director – Australasia; Chit Hlaing, Regional Director – Asia Pacific. Those on the call discussed key challenges during the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic including industry mitigation and contingency plans for safeguarding personnel movements onshore & offshore; financial implications of the dramatic oil price drop; market outlook and changes in regional and local government regulatory requirements and regulations, among other discussion points. IADC’s International Development team is working to put together similar calls specifically for IADC members in India and possibly the Western Hemisphere soon.
- APPEA Guidelines for Worker Movement IADC and our members worked closely with APPEA on a guide for movement of critical oil and gas personnel (and families) into and out of Western Australia. The guide provides information on processes to follow for interstate workers and marine crews moving in and out of State. More information about APPEA’s response to the pandemic can be found on the APPEA website.
- Legal/Contracts Webinar PESA and IADC will host a webinar on Wednesday, April 15 at 2:00 P.M. The webinar will feature a discussion including Contract Issues, Early Termination, Force Majeure, Travel Restrictions, and other Critical Infrastructure topics in the current business climate, facilitated by Tim Tarpley – Vice President, Government Affairs at PESA. More information, including Speakers and registration (required), can be accessed from the PESA Events webpage.
- CARES Act: In response to the devastating economic impacts arising from nationwide quarantine and stay-home orders, the U.S. Congress and Administration have passed three relief bills with a fourth bill planned. The bills are wide-ranging and include direct payments to individuals/families, loans for small businesses, and billions in corporate relief funds. Phase 3 of the stimulus includes the Paycheck Protection Program, available to U.S. companies, which provides loans dispersed through lenders approved by the U.S. Small Business Administration. More information can be found on the U.S. Senate website.
- Strategic Petroleum Reserve: On April 2, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced a solicitation to immediately make 30 million barrels of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve’s (SPR’s) oil storage capacity available to U.S. oil producers that are struggling with catastrophic financial losses due to the combined impacts of COVID-19 and the intentional disruption of world oil markets by foreign actors. The Department currently intends to make an additional 47 million barrels of storage capacity available thereafter.
- Helicopter Transfer Flowchart IADC and our members worked alongside Oil and Gas UK to develop a COVID-19 Helicopter Transfer Flowchart to determine movement of offshore personnel and considerations related to transporting workers amidst the pandemic. The flow chart can be found on the OGUK website
- Congressional Support for Energy Industry: In these uncertain times, the support and dedication of our elected officials has never been more important. Over the past few weeks, IADC has been vigorously working with Members of Congress, many of whom have issued letters of support for the industry. Congressman Jodey Arrington (R-TX) , Congresswoman Lizzie Fletcher (D-TX), Congressman Dan Crenshaw (R-TX), and a plethora of U.S. Senators have already issued 5 letters in support of the U.S. oil and gas industry. These have been directed to the Department of Interior, U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, and even the President himself, and have been crucial in raising awareness of the difficult situation the industry is currently faced with. As Congress and the Administration continue to work to address the public health crisis arising from the COVID-19 pandemic and to mitigate the economic harm from the Russo-Saudi price war, IADC will continue to work with Congress and the Administration to advocate for our drilling contractors.
- Essential Worker Designation for Oil and Gas Personnel – IADC joined together with PESA, API and IAGC on a letter to petition U.S. Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, to include the oil and gas sector in its list of essential workers. The letter, issued on 24 March, argued this industry needs to do the work to protect critical energy infrastructure during the pandemic. IADC and PESA joined together on a separate letter urging the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) to ensure that energy employees have the ability to maintain critical services during the national crisis.
On 28 March, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security amended their guidance, to include the oil and gas industry. The updated guidance can be found here: :https://www.cisa.gov/publication/guidance-essential-critical-infrastructure-workforce