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Vessel at Nigg in Cromarty Firth reports a coronavirus case as NHS Highland offers assurances no risk community

By Scott Maclennan

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A Covid-19 case aboard a ship docked in the Cromarty Firth has been confirmed.

The ship is the EnQuest Producer, a floating production vessel docked at the Port of Nigg.

It is the second month running that a ship related to the oil and gas industry has reported cases of Covid after the Norwegian Normand Energy docked last month at Invergordon.

Concerns have been raised locally about the welfare of the crew and whether any of them had been ashore prior to the positive tests at Global Energy's Port of Nigg.

The ship had been operating at the Alma/Galia fields until the EnQuest got a cessation of production on June 30 with the EnQuest Producer moving off station around the start of September to the oil terminal jetty at Nigg. The company is currently investigating options regarding its future.

The health board's director of public health, Dr Tim Allison, said: “NHS Highland is aware of a vessel docked in Nigg in which a small number of crew have tested positive for Covid-19.

“NHS Highland’s Health Protection Team is working with Environmental Health Officers in Highland Council and all relevant partner agencies to ensure the safety of all the crew on-board. There is no risk to the wider community.”

A spokesman for Highland Council said: “The operators informed us of a crew member who reported as having a positive response toCovid test when the crew were recently tested. Following consultations with HighlandHealth Protection team, the crew were considered to be close contacts and should self isolate for a period of 14 days.

“Consultations with the operators and the port health team are continuing to support the crew throughout the isolation period.”

A spokeswoman for EnQuest said: “EnQuest PLC can confirm that a worker on its EnQuest Producer Floating Production Storage and Offload vessel has tested positive for Covid-19. The remaining crew members have all tested negative for Covid-19.

"The individual and other crew members identified as close contacts are now isolating on the vessel in accordance with EnQuest’s protocols. The vessel is berthed at Nigg port and in accordance with port health protocols has been placed in quarantine for a 14-day period from October 5, 2020.

"EnQuest has a robust policy for the management of Covid-19 on all its installations and at its facilities globally. The company has engaged with all relevant stakeholders in this instance, including industry and medical organisations. The company continues to work with them to ensure its operational response and advice to its workforce is appropriate and commensurate with the prevailing expert advice and level of risk.”

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