Covid-19 spreads on oil platforms in Brazil

oil covid-19
Photo: Leo Francini/Shutterstock

Oil companies Petrobras, Equinor, Perenco, Shell, and Enauta have registered Covid-19 cases on their platforms off the coast of Brazil, says Reuters, exposing the challenges of taming the virus in confined environments. 

Data from oil and gas regulator ANP, quoted by the report, indicates 544 active cases of Covid-19 on Brazilian platforms or offshore rigs. There is no record of recovered patients or the total number of infections. However, Reuters says the figure is much higher than the 99 cases recorded by an equivalent sectoral organization in the U.S.

According to sources heard by the agency, Equinor had roughly 60 cases by last week, while Perenco detected 40 cases; Shell and Enauta reported one case each. Petrobras, according to the article, has had more than 300 cases so far. In April 15, when the first reports about infections in Petrobras arose, the number of confirmed cases was 74. All companies said they were taking prevention measures.

On May 22, Petrobras informed on its website that it had already performed 15,000 tests on both direct and outsourced workers at onshore or offshore units. “Trials identified antibodies, which suggest the virus may be active in the body, in more than 200 professionals that had no symptoms, showing the effectiveness of tests as a barrier to infections,” said the company, adding that its test rate is 100 per 1,000 people, higher than countries such as Spain and the U.S.

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