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Canadian Natural (CNQ) Requires COVID-19 Vaccinations for Workers

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Canadian Natural Resources Limited (CNQ - Free Report) requires workers and contractors, who are engaged in oil sand operations at Canada sites, to receive vaccinations against COVID-19 by Dec 1.

The company cited that rapid testing will not be considered as an alternative since the Alberta province copes with a deadly new wave of the coronavirus outbreak. Notably, it is the first oil sand company to announce such a policy.

According to Canada government data, Alberta has the highest number of active cases among the 10 provinces in the country, with 456 per 100,000 people. Hence, the vaccine mandates are part of efforts to enhance the precautionary measures of COVID-19 as Alberta entered a public health emergency earlier this month.

Earlier, the company required unvaccinated workers in the oil sands to undergo daily tests. However, this will no longer be an allowable alternative to vaccination, starting from December. The company will make exceptions to its policies for employees with verified medical or religious reasons against vaccination.

The COVID-19 pandemic brought unprecedented challenges to society and the new Delta variant of the virus placed the pandemic front and center again. At present, there are outbreaks at four of the company’s oil sands sites, and at facilities owned by Cenovus Energy (CVE - Free Report) , Suncor Energy (SU - Free Report) and Canada-based oil sands producer MEG Energy. Suncor does not require mandatory vaccinations but is expanding its policy of rapid testing to most of its sites for non-vaccinated workers.

Energy companies have been heavily impacted by the COVID-19 outbreaks as it weakened oil demand, resulting in plummeting oil prices and production declines. Hence, almost all energy companies are mandating vaccinations as an employment condition to reduce COVID-19 exposure and transmission at work sites.

Vaccine mandates are positive steps to protect employees and their communities, and a growing number of energy operators are requiring workers to get the vaccination. The trend is expected to grow stronger, following the FDA’s approval of the Pfizer vaccine.

Company Profile & Price Performance

Headquartered in Calgary, Alberta, Canadian Natural is a leading independent energy company that engages in the exploration, development, and production of oil and natural gas.

Shares of the company have outperformed the industry in the past six months. The stock has gained 14.9% compared with the industry’s 14.2% growth.


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Zacks Rank & Another Stock to Consider

Canadian Natural currently flaunts a Zack Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

Another top-ranked player in the energy space is Oceaneering International, Inc. (OII - Free Report) , currently sporting a Zacks Rank #1. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Oceaneering’s earnings for 2021 are expected to surge 1,233.35% year over year.