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West Africa oil industry at risk of Ebola exposure

Marissa Hall | Shale Plays Media

As the Ebola outbreak becomes more serious in West Africa, it could be putting the oil and gas industry in the region at risk. Failure to contain the virus could put workers living in the area at risk of exposure. Offshore Magazine reports:

John Sisa, lead analyst covering Upstream Oil & Gas in the Sub-Saharan region, said many of the E&P operations depend heavily on expatriates working and living in the region. Some operators may withdraw personnel and halt activities, he suggested, until the Ebola situation is controlled in the countries presently most affected.

According to the Center for Disease Control, there are currently over 3,700 suspected and confirmed cases of Ebola in West Africa. In Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia nearly every coastline region has confirmed cases. While most of the oil production in West Africa is offshore, the workers primarily live onshore. Exposure onshore could cause spread to the rigs themselves, putting workers in even greater danger of contracting the virus.

While Liberia and Sierra Leone have been hardest hit so far, Nigeria, a member of OPEC and a global oil giant, has 21 cases with 7 deaths. Sisa noted that Nigeria is the only country with sufficient resources to contain Ebola, though that does not mean the virus is incapable of spreading. This possibility could have a significant impact on oil production, and therefore global supply.

For all the details, see Offshore’s full report: Ebola threat may hit oil and gas E&P offshore West Africa

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