One of the oil companies working in Alaska has suspended its requirement that employees must be vaccinated for Covid-19.
Because Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued an executive order that prevents companies or other entities from forcing vaccinations on their workforce, Eni suspended the directive that required workers in the Gulf of Mexico and Alaska’s North Slope to be fully vaccinated by Dec. 1, unless granted an exemption by the company.
In a memo to employees, the company said it ended its Sept. 13 shot mandate for its employees and contractors, but called the situation dynamic, and expects it will change again.
“Getting fully vaccinated is the best thing that we can do to protect ourselves, as well as our families and co-workers. I would like to thank all employees who have responded to the National appeal for vaccination, and your personal support in helping to keep our workplace safe,” wrote Luca Pellicciotta, president and chief executive officer.
“Meanwhile, we are continuing with our current workplace COVID-19 protocols at this time. Thank you for your continued cooperation as we navigate this ever-changing landscape, while doing all that we can to maintain a safe workplace for each of us, Pellicciotta wrote.
Eni is the sole owner and operator of the Nikaitchuq and Oooguruk fields on the North Slope, producing more than 30,000 barrels of oil per day from three drill sites it operates. Eni has over 700 direct and contract employees in Alaska. The company bought Oooguruk assets in January 2019 from Caelus Energy, which exited the state in frustration with
Hilcorp Alaska, which took over BP Alaska operations, has made a decision to not mandate vaccines for employees. As of Oct. 15, the company is encouraging vaccinations and monitoring “for various federal agencies in case government mandates are issued. If we are subject to any federal mandates, we will communicate those requirements to our employees and contractors.”
Hilcorp Alaska sees two of President Biden’s executive orders as impacting it: The company has government contracts, and it also has more than 100 employees.
“OSHA recently proposed an Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) to the Office of Budget & Management. We expect to see the ETS issued within the next month,” Hilcorp wrote to employees.
Hilcorp has about 400 employees in Alaska, 88 percent of which are Alaska residents.
Hilcorp employees who are unvaccinated or vaccinated must be tested for Covid within 24 hours of flying to the North Slope or Cook Inlet platform. Hilcorp is also paying for the testing for both unvaccinated and vaccinated contractors, and will cover the cost of isolation for any vaccinated employee or vaccinated contractor who tests positive in Anchorage but does not live in the Anchorage area.