Texas’ Oil and Gas Industry Steps Up Amid COVID-19
Mon, April 20, 2020
As COVID-19 is affecting nearly every aspect of our lives, Texas’s oil and natural gas industry has joined the fight to stop the spread of the disease. From lending their technology and expertise to find a vaccine to COVID-19, to donating millions of dollars to healthcare and frontline workers, the industry has stepped up in the midst of today’s pandemic.
Protecting Our Heroes
Many companies across the state and beyond are donating masks and other personal protective equipment (PPE) to our communities’ medical staffs and first responders, fighting COVID-19 on the front lines.
EOG Resources and Marathon Oil have cumulatively donated more than 9,000 N95 masks to healthcare providers across the communities it operates in, from West Texas to Corpus Christi.
ExxonMobil donated $100,000 to Houston-area hospitals to be used for medical equipment and protective gear, and Cheniere Energy, partnering with the City of Houston, the Astros Foundation and Project C.U.R.E., hosted a PPE drive to raise more equipment for first responders and municipal employees.
Marathon Petroleum donated personal protective equipment to healthcare providers and through the Marathon Petroleum Foundation, and donated $1 million to the American Red Cross.
ConocoPhillips is using their global network to support local Texas communities, as employees based in China purchased and delivered 4,500 masks and 200 protective gowns to several Houston hospitals and first responders.
In the Permian Basin, EagleClaw Midstream donated $50,000 for protective equipment for nurses, doctors and emergency responders in the Midland area, in addition to providing fuel to transport critically ill patients by air ambulance.
Apache is supporting the Texas Organization of Rural & Community Hospitals (TORCH) for the purchase and distribution of 13,000 N95 masks, 144 gallons of sanitizer and 250 gowns to rural hospitals in West Texas where their employees live and work.
As firefighters answer EMS calls and respond to other critical needs in the community, Apache donated funds for the purchase of 1,700 PPE kits of gloves and masks for those on the frontline.
Industry operators are rapidly transforming their supply lines to continue to protect medical staff around the world. Baker Hughes, using spare or idle 3D printers, is making protective gear for health care workers on the front lines this pandemic. The 3D printers were reprogrammed to make nearly 40 face-shield brackets a day, further alleviating supply chain shortages.
Many refineries operating in Texas and the Gulf Coast have also repurposed their operations to help meet shortages across the country. ExxonMobil and Valero have both begun the producing hand sanitizer to be distributed to hospitals and medial centers amid national shortages.
As researchers race to find a vaccine for COVID-19, one of the fastest computers for commercial research, is helping researchers find a cure. BP’s supercomputer, housed right here in Texas, is assisting researchers with massive data calculations in order to stop the virus.
With stay-at-home orders in place, access to the internet has become more important than ever before. Apache supported the Midland Education Foundation through the purchase of data for 1,400 hotspots in support of students without reliable access to the internet for distance learning.
Due to the rise in demand for shelter and services for women and children impacted by domestic violence, Apache’s support of the Houston Area Women’s Center is providing temporary housing at hotels due to maximum capacity at city shelters.
Feeding Our State
As many Texans suddenly find themselves going through difficult times, oil and natural gas companies are stepping in to provide support. Donations to food banks by industry members across the state have been welcomed with open arms.
Houston-area food banks have received donations from ExxonMobil and ConocoPhillips, with ExxonMobil providing about one million meals to Houston-area residents impacted by the pandemic through $250,000 in contributions.
West Texas and Permian Basin communities are also being supported. ExxonMobil and Concho Resources each donated $100,000 and Shell donated $80,000 to the West Texas Food Bank. Chevron committed over $200,000 to organizations across the Permian Basin, including the West Texas Food Bank.
In South Texas, operators are also aiding the Gulf Coast through donations to local food banks. Freeport LNG donated $20,000 to the Brazosport Cares Food Pantry and Cheniere gave $150,000 to Corpus Christi's food bank and the Salvation Army to alleviate the impact of COVID-19. Valero along with the Valero Energy Foundation, as part of their $1.8 million commitment during this crisis, is donating $225,000 thousand dollars to the Coastal Bend Food Bank, Coastal Bend Blood Center, Christus Spohn Health Foundation, Driscoll Children's Hospital and the Ronald McDonald House, among others.
Supporting Small Businesses
Small business across the country have been the most impacted by COVID-19. In order to help Texas businesses, the Sempra Energy Foundation announced they plan to donate $500,000 to help nonprofits in Texas, as part of their $1.75 million Nonprofit Hardship Fund.
Helping Beyond Texas
The industry is committed to supporting their communities, no matter where they operate. Beyond Texas, oil and natural as companies have been supporting efforts to continue the fight against COVID 19.
The Ohio Oil and Gas Energy Education Program and Ohio Oil and Gas Association donated meals and PPE to their community’s healthcare workers, as well as $19,000 to support local restaurants and business. A little further east, Range Resources donated masks to hospitals, ensuring Pennsylvania’s healthcare workers remain safe in these times.
These efforts haven’t stopped at America’s borders; they’ve been global as well. ConocoPhillips’ showed support for their Chinese employees early on in the pandemic by donating $300,000 to support medical staff in Wuhan, China.
The BP Foundation alone is donating $2 million to the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Solidarity Response Fund, providing support to healthcare workers all around the world, funding efforts to develop tests and even a vaccine for the virus. And Cheniere pledged more than $1,000,000 to global efforts to combat the disease, showing the reach of our industry’s good will.
In Southeast NM, Apache is supporting United Way’s Feeding Families Campaign, specifically Isaiah’s Kitchen in Hobbs, NM and in Aberdeen, UK, the company is supporting the Community Food Initiative North East (CFINE).
In Suriname and Egypt, Apache is providing critical medical supplies and PPE.
As the COVID-19 crisis continues, oil and natural gas companies will continue to be there for their communities in any way they can. Whether it is through donations or refitting operations, the oil and gas industry will continue to answer the call for the communities they live and work in.
As the fight against COVID-19 is ongoing, Texans for Natural Gas will continue to add new announcements, donations and efforts from oil and natural gas companies to aid their communities below.
- BP is saying thank you to key workers for their efforts on the COVID-19 frontline with free coffee from its retail stations.
- Chevron Appalachia provided $260,000 in funding to local first responders and food banks in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis.
- French company Total is donating fuel vouchers worth $54.39m (€50m) to hospitals across France.
- Austrian oil, gas and petrochemical company OMV is donating €1 million in the form of OMV fuel cards (OMVCard) – EUR 500,000 each to the Austrian Red Cross and to Caritas Austria.