UPDATE 1-Gazprom says 20 workers isolated at field feeding Nord Stream gas pipeline

UPDATE 1-Gazprom says 20 workers isolated at field feeding Nord Stream gas pipeline

March 26, 2020 Off By NAMEX

* Bovanenkovo gas field feeds Nord Stream pipeline

* Production at Bovanenkovo unaffected (Adds details, source, background)

MOSCOW, March 26 (Reuters) – Gas giant Gazprom said on Thursday 20 workers have been quarantined at Bovanenkovo gas field, which feeds the Nord Stream pipeline and is a key source of Russian gas supplies to Europe, after contact with a person who has coronavirus.

Gazprom’s subsidiary, Gazprom Dobycha Nadym, said the contact occurred on an aeroplane on March 16 and the isolation will last until March 30. Production has not been affected.

It said the flight was from Moscow to the city of Yekaterinburg. Tests for the coronavirus from one of the passengers came back positive.

The workers arrived in Bovanenkovo from Yekaterinburg on another flight on March 17.

A company source said the workers were part of a shift of 160 people, who live in two dormitories, and they all are under medical surveillance now.

Two of the 20 workers show symptoms of acute respiratory viral infection, RIA news agency said, citing regional medial authorities.

Bovanenkovo is the largest gas field in the Arctic Yamal peninsula, a major source of minerals.

The initial reserves of the field, launched in 2012, were valued at 4.9 trillion cubic metres, enough to procure gas for the entire planet for more than a year.

Gas production at the field stands at over 100 billion cubic metres (bcm) per year, a fifth of Gazprom’s total, with peak output seen at 115-140 bcm per year.

As of March 26, Russia has 840 confirmed cases of COVID-19, relatively low in comparison to some other countries, and three coronavirus-related deaths. (Reporting by Vladimir Soldatkin and Maria Grabar; Editing by Katya Golubkova and Emelia Sithole-Matarise)