Gazprom evacuates workers from China-assigned gas field due to coronavirus

MOSCOW, April 16 (Reuters) - Russia’s Gazprom said on Thursday that it evacuated 23 workers from the Chayanda gas field this week due to a coronavirus scare, while the local coronavirus crisis response centre said four of the workers had tested positive for the virus.

Gazprom also said that the east Siberian field, launched in December for pipeline gas supplies to China - the first ever from Russia - was working as usual.

Russia plans to increase gas supplies to China, mainly from Chayanda, via the Power of Siberia pipeline to 38 billion cubic metres (bcm) per year by 2025 from an initial 5 bcm planned for this year.

Russia has reported 27,938 cases of coronavirus and 232 deaths.

The coronavirus has hit numerous energy projects in Russia, including Novatek’s construction site in the northern Murmansk region where over 200 people have been infected with the novel coronavirus. (Reporting by Vladimir Soldatkin and Anastasia Lyrchikova; Editing by Susan Fenton)