ONGC faces 'nightmare' crew-change scenarios

Vol 23, PW 11 (09 Apr 20) Exploration & Production

ONGC's imminent crew change for up to 5500 offshore and 2500 onshore staff after the nationwide lockdown ends on April 14 presents the nightmarish possibility of exposure to Coronavirus.

With this in mind, ONGC union ASTO is calling on senior management to consider its options if the lockdown is extended by another two weeks or less, partially removed, completely removed or removed but reinstated after 14 days. Amit Kumar, president of ASTO's Central Working Committee wrote to ONGC chairman Shashi Shanker on April 3 saying both ONGC and contract employees should not continue shifts longer than necessary.

"Employees must benefit from a much-needed break," says Kumar. At the earliest, he adds, workers must be relieved on April 15, if the government lifts the lockdown on April 14.

"Some employees would have put in at least 28 to 36 days on duty at different installations," he says. Kumar calls on ONGC management to adopt a clear strategy to deal with the imminent crew change, which it describes as a massive logistical manoeuvre, lasting up to five days.

"Management's strategy will depend on government’s plan," he says. ASTO estimates approximately 1300 employees plus 2100 contract staff, including catering staff, are deployed across 17 process platforms and eight ONGC rigs.

Another 2100 contract workers are working on 28 offshore rigs hired by ONGC.