Virus hits oil platform workers

A North Sea oil platform is operating with a reduced workforce after an outbreak of a highly contagious stomach bug.

There are currently two suspected cases of Norovirus, the winter vomiting virus, on the Enquest-owned Heather installation, east of Shetland, which is staffed by Petrofac workers.

The workers who have contracted the virus have been quarantined in an attempt to stop the illness spreading. Yesterday a Petrofac spokesman confirmed that staff numbers have been reduced to 70 to limit the possibility of more staff contracting the virus, with only essential personnel currently on board.

He said: “All reasonable steps have been taken to contain the spread of the virus and support and guidance is being provided by onshore occupational health medical professionals.

“Personnel who have contracted the virus have been provided with medical support as required, and isolated in designated cabins in line with company procedures.”

Petrofac has also reduced the movement of workers travelling to the installation to limit further spread of the virus on board.