Covid-19 Update: Governor Justice’s Executive Order 9-20 - Oil & Gas Operations (3/24/20)

Yesterday, West Virginia Governor Jim Justice issued an Executive Order instructing West Virginia residents to stay at home and limit non-essential movements. Executive Order 9-20 requires the closure of all businesses not deemed “Essential Businesses and Operations.” The Executive Order is effective at 8:00 PM today, March 24, 2020, and will remain in effect until lifted by the Governor. 

Essential Businesses and Operations

While non-essential businesses are to cease most operations “Essential Businesses and Operations” shall remain open, pursuant to the Executive Order. 

Much of the Oil and Gas industry will likely be considered to be covered under Executive Order 9-20  as essential businesses and operations. Specifically, the following businesses and operations are identified as essential either by the Memorandum on Identification of Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers During COVID 19 Response, issued by the Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency of the Department of Homeland Security on March 19 and relied upon by the Executive Order, or directly by Section 3 of Executive Order 9-20:

Petroleum workers:

  • Petroleum product storage, pipeline, marine transport, terminals, rail transport, road transport
  • Crude oil storage facilities, pipeline, and marine transport
  • Petroleum refinery facilities
  • Petroleum security operations center employees and workers who support emergency response services
  • Petroleum operations control rooms/centers
  • Petroleum drilling, extraction, production, processing, refining, terminal operations, transporting, and retail for use as end-use fuels or feedstocks for chemical manufacturing
  • Onshore and offshore operations for maintenance and emergency response
  • Retail fuel centers such as gas stations and truck stops, and the distribution systems that support them

Natural and propane gas workers:

  • Natural gas transmission and distribution pipelines, including compressor stations
  • Underground storage of natural gas
  • Natural gas processing plants, and those that deal with natural gas liquids
  • Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) facilities
  • Natural gas security operations center, natural gas operations dispatch and control rooms/centers natural gas
  • Emergency response and customer emergencies, including natural gas leak calls
  • Drilling, production, processing, refining, and transporting natural gas for use as end-use fuels, feedstocks for chemical manufacturing, or use in electricity generation
  • Propane gas dispatch and control rooms and emergency response and customer emergencies, including propane leak calls
  • Propane gas service maintenance and restoration, including call centers
  • Processing, refining, and transporting natural liquids, including propane gas, for use as end-use fuels or feedstocks for chemical manufacturing
  • Propane gas storage, transmission, and distribution centers

Please do not hesitate to reach out to Lewis Glasser PLLC if you have any questions regarding the application of Executive Order 9-20 or should you need any assistance with any other matters.

Richard L. Gottlieb, Esquire  


Lewis Glasser PLLC   

304.345.2000  ext. 1008  Direct Line 304.414.9008                 


Ramonda C. Marling, Esquire  


Lewis Glasser PLLC   

304.345.2000  ext. 1009   Direct Line 304.414.4371          /                         

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This e-update is advertising material intended to provide addressees with informational updates and perspectives regarding matters of interest in connection with the COVID 19 pandemic. This e-update does not constitute legal advice, the provision of legal counseling or any other professional service, nor does it constitute a legal opinion regarding any specific facts. No attorney-client relationship is created by this e-update and this e-update does not constitute an offer to provide legal services.

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