March 16, 2020 / 4:10 PM / 15 days ago

UPDATE 1-Equinor staff to work longer offshore shifts due to coronavirus

(Adds detail on production continuing offshore Norway)

By Nerijus Adomaitis

OSLO, March 16 (Reuters) - Equinor will extend its employees’ shifts at offshore platforms to 21 days from 14 days to reduce the risk of coronavirus spread, the oil company said on Monday, as oil and gas production offshore Norway continued as normal.

Equinor recorded the world’s first coronavirus case on an offshore installation at its non-producing Martin Linge field on March 11.

“This is a temporary measure, and currently applies to Equinor’s employees only this week,” a company spokesman told Reuters.

Separately, the company said its oil and gas production off Norway continued as normal.

Gas flows from Europe’s second-largest gas supplier after Russia were at more than 330 million cubic metres per day on Monday, broadly unchanged from the previous day.

Sweden’s Lundin Petroleum, operator of Edvard Grieg field off Norway, said coronavirus outbreak or travel restrictions imposed by the Norwegian government did not have any impact on its operations.

The company was considering reducing non-essential personnel offshore and delaying some activities, but it should not have a long-term impact on its guidance, it said in an email to Reuters.

From Monday morning, Norway has banned foreigners who have no residence or work rights from entering the country, and imposed quarantine requirements for other travellers, including those coming from neighbouring Nordic countries.

Many offshore workers are non-Norwegian residents who travel to the Nordic country to work on platforms. (Reporting by Nerijus Adomaitis; Editing by Terje Solsvik. Editing by Jane Merriman)

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