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Workers at Bovanenkovo gas field self-isolating due to virus

Trading operations to continue as normal

Moscow — Russian oil and gas producers said Thursday that measures introduced so far to combat the spread of the coronavirus in Russia will not affect oil and gas production and supply.

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Russia ramped up measures to combat the virus on Wednesday, with Russian President Vladimir Putin announcing that next week would be a paid non-working week throughout the country.

Oil and gas producers said that this does not apply to those workers ensuring smooth operations at oil and gas production projects and supply chains.

Gas giant Gazprom said "Next week Gazprom and its subsidiaries will be in holiday mode. At the same time, units that ensure continuous production will continue to operate normally, just like on any other weekend or holiday."

Gazprom Neft said that the non-working week "applies to all company employees, with the exception of those on duty and involved in maintaining continuous operations at production facilities."

A spokesman for state-owned pipeline operator Transneft also said that operations will continue as normal. "We have experience of working during long weekends, it'll be like a long weekend," he said.

Regulations on self-isolation pose risks for continuous operations however, with some companies already reporting that workers are in self-isolation. Gazprom said that 20 workers at its 4.9-Tcm Bovanenkovo field will be quarantine until March 30, after coming into contact with a person infected with coronavirus on March 16. Gazprom Neft said that it has extended shift cycles to 60 days at remote oil production projects.

Trading to continue

Russian traders said that they don't expect any impact on their work, as most of them are working from home.

Russia's St. Petersburg International Mercantile Exchange (Spimex) said Thursday that to ensure a lack of disruption to the supply of key commodities, such as gasoline and diesel, its operations will continue next week.

Refineries are also expected to operate as normal, although some are adding production of essential products to combat the virus. This includes Tatneft's Taneco refinery, which said Wednesday that it would produce hand sanitizer. This is not expected to affect product supply.

Gazprom Neft said it had not amended supply plans at its Moscow and Omsk refineries.