Gazprom Neft’s anti-COVID-19 programme

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Gazprom Neft sets up “buffer zones” to protect rig workers from COVID-19

Gazprom Neft is deploying a major anti-COVID-19 programme — “Antivirus” — which includes a range of initiatives to ensure continuous production under the current pandemic. One of the most important projects under this programme involves putting in place “buffer zones” for virus-testing rotational-shift rig workers prior to their leaving for fields.

Special buffer zones have been put in place for workers leaving for their shifts, where they can be tested for COVID-19. Employees whose test comes back negative are cleared for work. Employees’ transportation to their place of work is being undertaken on specially adapted vehicles to ensure minimum physical contact en route. Such buffer zones have now been put in place at all Gazprom Neft fields in the Yamalo-Nenets and Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Okrugs, and the Tyumen, Orenburg, Tomsk and Omsk Oblasts.

Extending shift handovers to 90 days, together with mass testing of employees, and only transporting those testing negative for coronavirus out to fields, means employee health and safety can be systematically addressed.

“Putting buffer zones in place prevents the virus from spreading to fields. The various initiatives put in place are now ensuring a high level of protection for employees throughout our assets, as well as increasing efficiency in combatting the virus.”
Victor Sorokin
Victor Sorokin Head of Workplace Safety, Gazprom Neft
Notes for editors

Gazprom Neft’s “ANTIVIRUS” initiative is an integrated programme directed at combatting the spread of COVID-19, involving a range of initiatives including providing free materials and resources to medical services, emergency services employees and voluntary organisations, wherever the company operates. Gazprom Neft is providing fuel, protective equipment and PPE to medical agencies, as well as offering concessionary payment terms to transport companies and SMEs.

Within the Gazprom Neft group of companies the “Antivirus” programme represents a system of barriers — including technical and organisational initiatives — designed to combat the spread of COVID-19. Crew turnarounds at remote fields have been extended to 90 days, and “buffer zones” put in place for employees waiting to go on-shift, where they are placed under medical care before flying out to fields.

Part of the Gazprom Neft workforce was transferred to remote working (working from home) with effect from 19 March, with additional corporate services — including “remote office” digital technologies — being launched and employees offered greater scope for using specialist software allowing them to work full-time, from home.

Find out more about the “Antivirus” programme at