ANCHORAGE (KTUU) Oil giant ConocoPhillips is going to demobilize its rig fleet on Alaska's North Slope, according to a letter to employees of subcontractor Doyon Drilling, Inc.
A ConocoPhillips spokesperson confirmed the announcement to Channel 2 Wednesday, saying in part:
“Due to the heightened COVID-19 risk to our North Slope workforce, we are taking action to significantly reduce the number of personnel on the Slope in a managed fashion. To do this, we are making the difficult decision to demobilize our rig fleet. Given the high degree of uncertainty on how the situation plays out, we can’t say how long these measures will be in place."
A section of the letter sent April 7, 2020, to Doyon Drilling employees reads:
“Today we were informed that CPAI has made a decision to demobilize their rig fleet. This decision was made to protect the health and wellbeing of the workforce and their families to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.”
Doyon Drilling, Inc. is an Oil Field Service provider owned by Doyon Limited, which is based in Fairbanks.
In the letter, DDI says precautionary measures like quarantine procedures, financial incentives to keep operations on the North Slope, and other options to keep employees safe were not enough.
DDI wrote in the letter it will demobilize rigs safely and make sure when things are cleared to start up again, it’s ready.
It's unclear at this time how many Slope employees are affected.
As for COVID-19 cases on the North Slope, the ConocoPhillips spokesperson did say they are not able to share workforce health matters.
Numbers from the State of Alaska Department of Health and Social Services show one confirmed case on the North Slope .
The confirmed case was a Prudhoe Bay worker.
Copyright 2020 KTUU. All Rights Reserved.