By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Senior Correspondent
The US energy supply chain hasn’t faced disruption because of the coronavirus. Still, contingency measures have been taken by oil and natural gas companies to help keep supplies flowing, according to Suzanne Lemieux, the head of operations security for the American Petroleum Institute (API).
The contingency plans have focused on ensuring continuity of supplies to market and preventing the spread of the virus to workers and the public, Lemieux stated in a conference call this week.
“The supply chain is operating as normal now, and you’re going to see that continuing unless there are any additional shelter-in-place restrictions or larger outbreaks,” Lemieux said.
“This is not a new planning scenario for a lot of our member companies, but we are trying to be as cautious as possible.”
Lemieux noted that many of API’s members have dealt with previous outbreaks such as Ebola, SARS, and H1N1.
API, which represents all segments of America’s oil and natural gas industry, has provided numerous pandemic information resources to ensure members and industry partners have easy access to critical health and safety information as the outbreak of COVID-19 develops.
Oil and natural gas operations occur around the world, which creates unique challenges for operators when such events occur, according to information on an API webpage that’s dedicated to pandemic resources.
These resources can provide the information needed to make plans and decisions necessary to protect people and maintain the global supply of oil and natural gas so critical to the world economy, API officials stated.
Lemieux stressed that there had been no disruptions in America’s supply chain due to the coronavirus.
Lemieux said API would work with the Energy Department and Environmental Protection Agency on whether waivers to environmental regulations were needed to help get fuel to market.
“We’re still speaking with our members to understand what their limitations are,” she stated.