Innovation and Operational Agility in the Oil and Gas Industry Amidst COVID-19

Our society is weathering unprecedented times. And in this period of uncertainty, as an industry, we are holding steadfast to the values that unite us – the wellbeing and safety of our people, communities and the world we share. We understand that access to energy is something that communities heavily rely on in times like these. We’re working hard to keep the lights on, the emergency crews moving, and supply chains humming.

WSPA applauds the oil and gas industry’s heartfelt efforts to support health care workers and essential employees by using its operations, technical expertise, and materials in innovative ways to address shortages in the essentials needed to fight this pandemic. Below are just some examples of how:

  • In collaboration with the Global Center for Medical Innovation, ExxonMobil is rethinking how protective medical equipment, specifically face shields and face masks, is made and creating more gear for the front-line healthcare workers. ExxonMobil is lending its technical expertise and supplying raw materials to help manufacture reusable face masks. This collaboration has already generated 50,000 face shields, with production facilities looking to manufacture upwards of 170,000 per hour in the coming days.
  • In response to the urgent need for hand sanitizer, Valero announced that their Hartley, Iowa plant will use its ethanol operations for hand sanitizer production, with approval from the FDA. These will be distributed to its ethanol plants, refineries, local hospitals, and emergency care providers.
  • Marathon Oil is providing tools for people to create ear-relief gadgets for those wearing surgical masks for long periods of time. Likewise, they have already donated 575,000 N95 respirator masks from their warehouses to support the frontline healthcare workers in more than 20 states.
  • To adapt production to support the efforts to halt the spread of the virus, Shell is using select facilities to make isopropyl alcohol, which is used for hand-sanitizing liquids. Shell is also working to develop face protectors for medical staff, ones that cover the face fully and are connected to a medical filter by a part that is being produced using the 3D printers.


As we share this post, the innovation and generosity in the oil and gas industry continues to grow. Follow #PowerInEverybody on Twitter for the latest developments.

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