BP is adjusting the company’s offshore procedures after several workers who had previously been aboard a production platform in the Gulf of Mexico tested positive for the coronavirus.
Citing health privacy laws, BP did not provide details about the incident or medical conditions of the affected workers but confirmed that they tested positive for COVID-19, a deadly virus that causes a flu-like illness.
BP owns and operates four offshore oil production platforms in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Louisiana. It’s not clear which of the platforms the incident happened on but the company has adjusted is safety procedures in response to the incident.
“As a precaution BP has adjusted our mobilisation procedures to further mitigate the possibility of the virus affecting our people and operations,” the company said in a statement. “The safety and wellbeing of staff and contractors and respect for the communities in which we operate is our highest priority.”
The coronavirus pandemic started in China in January but quickly spread around the world.
Health officials have confirmed more than 140,000 cases and 2,400 deaths in the United States. More than 2,500 of those cases were in reported in Texas with nearly one-third of them in the Houston area.
The pandemic has prompted numerous businesses to close after local and state officials issued stay at home orders. Oil and natural gas operations remain open under a federal critical infrastructure designation.
Louisiana Health Department officials does not comment about specific cases but reported that any offshore infections will be added to parish and state statistics. As of Tuesday afternoon, there were more than 5,200 cases and 239 deaths in Louisiana.
This article first appeared on the Houston Chronicle – an Energy Voice content partner. For more from the Houston Chronicle click here.