Southern Contracts step in to enable work to recommence after 2 week Covid shut down on floating production facility in North Sea

SOUTHERN Contracts were required to spring into action when production was forced to cease on a North Sea platform due to a Covid-19 outbreak at the end of January.

When four crew members from Ithaca Energy’s FPF-1 Floating Production Facility in the North Sea tested positive for Coronavirus, Southern Contracts were drafted in to help.

The discovery came to light following a crew member displaying symptoms on 19 January who tested positive for Covid upon arriving onshore.

Southern Contracts’ MD, Adam Elphinstone said: “We were called upon to supply specialist equipment to transport the vaccine out to the Ithaca rig which is located 150 miles off shore, east of Aberdeen.

“Sodexo, a remote sites specialist Facilities Management company, contacted us to assist and we were able to provide specialist refrigeration equipment to transport the vaccine to Aberdeen and ensure it reached its destination within 24 hours, in time to vaccinate all the remaining crew onboard. We also provided other virus PPE such as hand sanitisers and dispensers.

“Although it was an emergency turnaround, we were happy to be of assistance to ensure the speedy reopening of operations for the FPF-1 on 1st February and reduce further mounting costs to Ithaca” he added.

Ithaca Energy said production on the FPF-1 had been shut to ensure the safety of all those onboard.

In a statement to the BBC they said: “In response to crew members testing positive for coronavirus on the FPF-1 Floating Production Facility we have reviewed our Covid-19 procedures, completed a deep clean of the FPF-1, implemented testing of those on board the installation, and increased cleaning schedules.

“We have also introduced pre-mobilisation testing for all Ithaca Energy operated assets and this, together with the measures outlined above, enabled us to implement a phased and controlled process of increasing the number of personnel on board the FPF-1 and restart production on Monday, 1 February 2021.”

The Health & Safety Executive stated there were a total of 17 confirmed cases.

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