Coronavirus confirmed on Equinor’s North Sea field

Following suspension of helicopter flights to several Equinor’s offshore installations due to suspected coronavirus case, one person at the Martin Linge field in the North Sea has tested positive on the coronavirus.

The Martin Linge platform in the North Sea. (Photo: Jan Arne Wold / Woldcam – Equinor)

Earlier this week Equinor confirmed to Offshore Energy Today it had suspended flights to several offshore installation, including the Martin Linge, while waiting for test results.

In an update on Wednesday, Equinor confirmed that one person had tested positive for coronavirus. The person is not seriously ill, the company added.

Equinor said it is in dialogue with the Norwegian health authorities about further measures. The infected person has been in isolation in his cabin since Monday, March 9. Measures to prevent further contamination for offshore installations has been introduced. It has not been decided when the person will be brought ashore.

The person arrived at the field just before noon on March 4. The person had recently been to Austria. When Austria was listed as a high-risk destination, the person was quarantined on board and a test was conducted.

Tests have been conducted on two further persons at the field, who have also visited high-risk destinations. The results of these tests are not yet available.

Medical staff on board follows up all personnel and there are no additional persons with symptoms on board.

Equinor said that the activity on the field would be reduced today. Personnel remains at the installations they are already located on. Equinor is continuously evaluating further measures.

Measures to prevent further contamination are under implementation, including reduction of social gatherings, reduction of meetings, introduction of larger distances between personnel in the canteen, and cleaning of selected common areas.

The Martin Linge field is currently under construction and is planned to start production at the end of 2020. There are currently 776 persons offshore, working on the project and spread across three installations.

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