After Katrina, Rita and Wilma a new danger encounters American oil production: methamphetamine. As the Financial Times reports, this drug has such an influence on employees at oil platforms that they are not able to do their jobs as they should. The problem happens to be so serious that even the oil price suffers from it. The British newspaper, relying mainly on anonymous sources, reports that activities have been postponed due to companies that can hardly find drug-free staff.
Oil conglomeration BP, one of those who drill for oil in the American waters, is not familiar with this problem. ‘We only know of some individual cases in Scotland, so said a spokesman.
Methamphetamine, or speed, is considered a very damaging and dangerous drug. This ‘cocaine for the poor’ is produced in labs. Users become euphoric and high on energy.
Some platform workers think of it as a solution for working long days. They often work for twelve hours in a row. Besides, these employees can obtain sodiumhydroxide without difficulty, which is available at every oil platform. It is used against corrosion of the oil pipe, but is also one of the main components of methamphetamine. On some oil platforms labs have been round up. A deadly dangerous situation, according to the newspaper, because these drug labs are just as explosive as a drilling installation itself.
But a platform worker that uses speed could be functioning as some sort of time bomb as well. This person has to deal with a range of emotions, may feel invulnerable and act reckless. On a platform this could lead easily to awful accidents.
Not only oil platforms at sea have to deal with this drug problem. Also oil installations in the American states of Texas, Oklahoma and Colorado do have addicted personnel and can only fire those workers. It occurred that even complete teams of twelve people were fired at once.
Consequences are that projects are postponed, only because corporations are having a hard time finding appropriate staff. The Financial Times cites American analyst Ben Dell; he assumes this happens so often it already raises the oil price.
Employers of oil producers try their best to trace staff that uses drugs. Managers may carry out unannounced urine tests.
Source: De Volkskrant