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IOGP-IPIECA Health Committee statement on COVID-19 testing in the oil and gas industry

30 June 2021 (5th revision)


This document has been prepared using collective insights from the IOGP-IPIECA Health Committee, with consideration of the latest information and positions of international bodies such as the World Health Organization (WHO), United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (US CDC), national health bodies, Oil and Gas UK, and others.

The need to urgently address issues in the rapidly moving COVID-19 situation means this document has been subject to a truncated approval process, and will be under regular review as the situation evolves. This document is intended to help companies harmonize protocols for testing and quarantine for the oil and gas industry. Many local factors, such as prevalence of the virus, the type of operation/location, accommodation, and response capability affect the total risk picture. Therefore, measures to manage the risk to as low as reasonably practicable (ALARP) may differ across different locations, including the timelines for quarantine.

Users are encouraged to use the document in support of public health advice and any legal frameworks that may exist from national authorities.


Testing is an essential tool in continuous evolution to adequately address the COVID pandemic. It faces several challenges and limitations that we need to be aware of and overcome as we implement preventive and mitigation measures while using the various COVID testing methodologies. Limited societal readiness, lack of available testing infrastructure, and the validity of tests used are some of the principal hurdles to establishing an effective and consistent testing regime. The confusion is further amplified by the rapid development and deployment of new testing methods and protocols by many labs and manufacturers, with limited verification of their validity or peer reviewed research.

This document aims to provide clarity on the current types of testing, the opportunities and limitations they provide and a method to assess if testing is appropriate for a specific operational site or organization. It will be reviewed monthly, or sooner if appropriate. The user is encouraged to verify that they are in possession of the latest revision before use. A revision history is included on the last page of this document.

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