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Vaccine Mandates Reach Oil Industry

U.S. oil and gas supermajor Chevron has started to require thousands of its employees to get COVID-19 vaccinations. Chevron is also considering whether it will make vaccines mandatory for its broader workforce, The Wall Street Journal reported on Monday, citing people with knowledge of the plans.

Employees who travel internationally, employees on U.S.-flagged ships, and expatriate employees are now required to receive vaccinations, Chevron’s spokesman Braden Reddall told the Journal.

In addition, Chevron will also require offshore workers in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, as well as some support staff onshore, to have vaccinations by November 1, Reddall said.

“Chevron is committed to protecting the health of our people, and vaccinations are the strongest safeguard against this virus,” the company’s spokesman told the Journal.

Chevron is also evaluating whether vaccine mandates can be implemented throughout all business units, depending on the availability of vaccines in the countries where the company operates and the risk of infections at the various business units, according to the Journal’s sources.

Chevron, which has around 47,000 employees, saw the latest wave of COVID-19 infections delay its plans to return employees to offices in California and Texas.

Chevron is one of the first companies in the oil and gas industry to require vaccinations as the sector has been grappling with work and rotation delays on offshore platforms due to COVID outbreaks since the start of the pandemic.

But Chevron is not the only one. Hess Corporation and Valero Energy also have some vaccination requirements: Hess for offshore workers in the Gulf of Mexico to be vaccinated by November 1 and Valero for new hires, according to the Journal.

Refiner Phillips 66 does not require vaccinations, although it strongly encourages employees to get a vaccine, CEO Greg Garland told the WSJ.

In the UK, the offshore industry body OGUK said in June that it encourages all members of the workforce to take the vaccine when offered.

By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com

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