(FOX Business) The U.S. energy industry is weighing in on COVID-19 vaccine mandates for employees as infections are on the rise following the spread of the delta variant.
Hess Corporation says its U.S. operations employees working in the Gulf of Mexico will be required to be fully vaccinated by Nov. 1 in order to enter offshore facilities.
“Given the highly infectious nature of the delta variant and the rising number of COVID-19 cases in the U.S., we are implementing additional preventative measures in our Gulf of Mexico operations to help ensure safety and business continuity,” a spokesperson told FOX Business Monday. “Safety is always our first priority.”
Chevron will also require its Gulf of Mexico offshore workforce, as well as some onshore support personnel, to be vaccinated by Nov. 1. Other Chevron employees who are required to get vaccinated under the policy include expatriate workers and workers traveling internationally.
“Chevron is committed to protecting the health of our people, and vaccinations are the strongest safeguard against this virus,” a company spokesperson told FOX Business. “We will continue to carefully monitor the medical data and follow the guidance of health authorities in order to protect our workforce.”
Oil field services firm Schlumberger told FOX Business that some of its customers are requesting that staff are vaccinated or tested before arriving on job sites.
“As a service company, we continuously review our internal policies and procedures to ensure that we can meet our customers’ needs while prioritizing the health and safety of all our employees,” the company added.
Despite these moves, not all energy firms are requiring their employees get the jab.
“We strongly encourage vaccination,” an ExxonMobil spokesperson told FOX Business. “We will continue to monitor guidance from health organizations and the effectiveness of our mitigation efforts, and make adjustments if and when they are needed.”
The company says that all unvaccinated individuals have been required since Aug. 18 to wear a face covering in indoor locations when 6 feet of social distance cannot be maintained. ExxonMobil is also asking vaccinated individuals to “exercise their best judgment and consider wearing a face covering when in crowded areas for extended periods of time.”
The announcements come as Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine was given full approval by the Food and Drug Administration on Monday for individuals ages 16 years and older.
The companies also plan to seek licensure of a third booster dose of their vaccine for individuals ages 16 years or older and will submit for full FDA approval for individuals ages 12 to 15 once the required data out to six months after the second vaccine dose are available. Patients ages 12 to 15 are currently eligible for Pfizer-BioNTech’s vaccine under an emergency use authorization.
FOX Business said other companies that are requiring vaccinations for employees include Disney, Facebook, Google, Uber, Equinox Group, Tyson Foods, United Airlines, Citigroup, McDonald’s and the New York Stock Exchange. Walmart will also require vaccinations for U.S. employees above store and club level, such as regional managers and corporate employees.
In Guyana, oil and gas companies continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation and implement measures to ensure the safety of their employees.
Since April 2020, ExxonMobil, operator at the Stabroek block, had established COVID-19 prevention screening facilities in country and abroad to safely manage rotators coming into and departing Guyana.