Forced to operate with limited personnel during the coronavirus emergency, the U.S. oil and natural gas industry needs relief from a laundry list of non-essential compliance obligations, according to the American Petroleum Institute (API).

“The oil and natural gas industry, like other critical infrastructure sectors, is working tirelessly to ensure there is no interruption in our supply chains as a result of this pandemic,” API President Michael Sommers said in a March 20 letter to President Trump. 

“…We are grateful for the ongoing work of your administration in providing appropriate guidelines for mitigation of the pandemic. In light of these guidelines, the oil and natural gas industry needs to maintain safe and reliable operations, taking into consideration that there may be limited personnel capacity to manage the full scope of the current regulatory requirements. 

“As such, we will be requesting assistance in temporarily waiving non-essential compliance obligations from the relevant agencies and departments within your administration and/or their state counterparts, and may include recordkeeping, training or other non-safety critical requirements.”

Potential requests could include waivers of seasonal fuel requirements, hours of service limitations, nonessential inspections, and reporting and auditing requirements, Sommers said. 

Sommers also requested that the administration provide state and local governments with “timely guidance on critical infrastructure personnel,” including API employees.

“Our supply chain is robust and complex. Ensuring that our entire supply chain is protected from these impacts to the fullest extent possible is of great importance and will enable our industry to continue to provide the fuels that power our communities.”