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A Step in the Right Direction: Equatorial Guinea’s Minister of Mines and Hydrocarbons Issues a Mandate for Oil and Gas Worker Vaccinations.

August 11, 2021

In a bid to ensure the protection of oil and gas industry workers, as well as increase operations and production across the sector, the Minister is driving an effective vaccination rollout for all hydrocarbon workers in Equatorial Guinea.

Equatorial Guinea is leading the way in maintaining prevention measures and ensuring operational safety within the oil and gas sector with the Minister of Mines and Hydrocarbons (MMH), H.E. Gabriel Mbaga Obiang Lima, issuing a mandate during a virtual meeting this month for all oil and gas workers to be vaccinated against the coronavirus. The mandate has been enforced in order to drive the country’s vaccination rollout program, ensuring increased operations and production across the hydrocarbons sector while safeguarding workers against the virus.  

H.E. Gabriel Obiang Lima remains committed to expanding the country’s oil and gas sector while at the same time mitigating the spread of the virus. By requiring all oil and gas workers, including both national and expatriate employees to be vaccinated, the MMH is paving the way for other industries to put the safety of their workers first.

“It is forbidden for unvaccinated individuals to work on onshore or offshore facilities. They are public servants and must be protected,” stated H.E. Gabriel Obiang Lima in the virtual meeting.

Despite experiencing relatively low COVID-19 cases compared to other African countries, Equatorial Guinea’s oil and gas sector suffered significant impacts from the pandemic throughout 2020 and into 2021. With Equatorial Guinea prioritizing its vaccination rollout program – the country has received a shipment of 500,000 Sinopharm vaccines from China at the end of June 2021 with more expected to follow – the oil and gas sector is driving progress.

Additionally, in the virtual meeting, the MMH and the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare have requested an increase in the number of weekly flights to Equatorial Guinea, specifically for the oil and gas sector. Requested through the Political Committee of Surveillance Against COVID-19, the MMH is focused on boosting oil and gas productivity while maintaining the safety of employees. By working with the Committee, and driving their own vaccination rollout program, the MMH is making significant progress in positioning the country as an African vaccination leader.

“Equatorial Guinea has taken the right steps in driving oil and gas productivity by ensuring that the oil and gas sector is both a safe and productive working environment for all oil and gas employees. Africa’s oil and gas sector can lead the way in the continent’s vaccination rollout and we are thankful to the government’s covid committee and other Ministries within Equatorial Guinea,” concluded H.E. Gabriel Obiang Lima.  

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