MOSCOW (MRC) -- Nearly 150 workers have been evacuated or are due for evacuation from Shell's Shearwater project in the North Sea since a COVID-19 outbreak emerged at the end of June, the company said July 20, as the industry called for an exemption from self-isolation rules for offshore workers, reported S&P Global.
So far, 26 people at the Shearwater oil and gas hub have tested positive for COVID-19, with another 122 categorized as having been "close contacts" of those infected, Shell told S&P Global.
Most have already been flown to shore, with a small number isolating at the facility prior to returning to shore, Shell said, adding that the spread of infection was slowing, with only five cases detected in the last seven days of the outbreak.
Shearwater is the focus of concerns that rising UK infection rates could spread to the offshore oil and gas sector, which normally provides 1 million b/d of oil including the Brent and Forties benchmark grades, and meets about half the country's gas needs.
Shearwater is currently shut down for summer maintenance and for work on the redevelopment project, which is central to Shell's realignment of its North Sea strategy. The project is intended to redirect gas flows from a cluster of North Sea fields, some of them newly developed and operated by other companies, to St Fergus in Scotland and on to petrochemical facilities, rather than being sent ashore at Bacton, eastern England.
The project had already suffered delays due to the pandemic and last year's price crash, having originally been scheduled to come on stream in 2020.
As MRC informed before, Royal Dutch Shell plans to reduce its refining and chemicals portfolio by more than half, it said in July 2020 without giving a precise timeframe. The move is part of the Anglo-Dutch company's plan to shrink its oil and gas business and expand its renewables and power division to reduce greenhouse gas emissions sharply by 2050.
Ethylene and propylene are the main feedstocks for the production of polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP), respectively.
According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated PE consumption totalled 953,400 tonnes in the first five months of 2021, which virtually corresponded to the same figure a year earlier. High denisty polyethylene (HDPE) shipments decreased. At the same time, PP shipments to the Russian market were 607,8900 tonnes in January-May 2021, up by 33% year on year. Shipments of homopolymer PP and PP block copolymers increased, whereas deliveries of PP random copolymers decreased.
Royal Dutch Shell plc is an Anglo-Dutch multinational oil and gas company headquartered in The Hague, Netherlands and with its registered office in London, United Kingdom. It is the biggest company in the world in terms of revenue and one of the six oil and gas "supermajors". Shell is vertically integrated and is active in every area of the oil and gas industry, including exploration and production, refining, distribution and marketing, petrochemicals, power generation and trading.