Energy Workers Sacrifice Amid COVID-19


By: Samantha Magee

COVID-19 has brought about significant changes to our daily lives, and everyone is doing their best to figure out life in this “new normal.” In particular, the challenges and sacrifices made by the likes of healthcare workers, teachers and service-industry personnel are frequently discussed in the media and on social networking sites.

At Danos, we’d like to shed a light on another group who is sacrificing more than ever: America’s offshore energy workers. Increased time in work shifts, additional quarantine procedures, regular COVID-19 testing and less available time to spend with family and friends are now additional job requirements for our offshore employees.

To combat the spread of the disease, many of Danos’ customers have increased the hitch time from the typical 14 days on and 14 days off (14/14), to 21 or even 28-day hitches. At the same time, crews are being required to quarantine for one, two or even five days on top of their work shift. Once employees arrive at the quarantine hotel, they are provided three meals a day but are not allowed to leave. Masks must be worn, and everyone is required to maintain distancing and remain six feet apart.

As a part of the required quarantine, employees are typically tested once upon arrival and a second time before going offshore. Both test results must be negative for the employee to report to his or her shift. All the while, Danos field leaders and coordinators have added to their job responsibilities as well, as they are called to manage these changes and hotel logistics. By taking these extra measures, our customers and employees are doing their part to minimize the spread of COVID-19.

While oil and gas workers have always been a resilient group, this extended time spent offshore and in quarantine means longer time away from family, which can lead to fatigue. Several customers are experimenting with different ways to combat that. Some are cutting down on required quarantine periods and using a COVID test with a shorter result turnaround time. Another customer has recently decided to only test employees the day prior to going offshore. If employees live within two hours from the testing site, they can go home to spend one more day with family. For others, they can choose from several testing sites and stay nearby in a hotel room for the night.

To those familiar with the industry, it’s no secret that our offshore workers make daily sacrifices to provide an important and necessary service for our country. However, in the coronavirus world we live in today, the people who fuel our economy are giving up considerably more by way of time devoted to their jobs and away from their families. For that we salute you, and we thank you.

Samantha Magee

Samantha Magee joined Danos in 2018 as media relations coordinator. She serves as Danos’ point of contact for communications targeting customers and the communities where we live and work. Prior to joining Danos, she worked in education and non-profit organizations. Samantha holds a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communication from Louisiana State University and an MBA from the University of Houston.


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