14 workers aboard ExxonMobil-hired drillship offshore Guyana have COVID

Last Updated on Friday, 23 April 2021, 16:55 by Denis Chabrol

Noble Tom Madden

Despite a rigid screening and isolation system, 14 workers aboard the ExxonMobil-contracted drillship, Noble Tom Madden, have contracted the potentially deadly coronavirus.

ExxonMobil says 11 remain in isolation aboard the vessel and three have been transferred to appropriate isolation facilities onshore under the care and custody of their employer. “These individuals have been appropriately isolated to limit the spread of the virus and if necessary, plans are in place to safely transport the remaining positive workers onshore,” the company said.

The company says all are asymptomatic or have mild symptoms at this time.

The Noble Tom Madden drill ship is currently involved in the Liza Phase 2 development drilling. ExxonMobil says operations at its six drill ships and the Liza Destiny FPSO remain unaffected at this time.

ExxonMobil has at least two isolation facilities for all persons who are earmarked to travel to any of the vessels and so this outbreak has left company officials and members of the medical fraternity how the COVID-19 virus has spread to workers offshore.

Sources in the medical fraternity say two expatriate workers, who were due to leave Guyana, recorded positive PCR tests, although they had been negative before going to the vessel several weeks ago.

The sources say that it was then that contact tracing and testing were done and the 12 others were positive.

Noble is a separate foreign company that hires drill ships to oil companies around the world.