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Offshore Rig Worker in Australia Tests Positive for COVID-19

March 25, 2020

Maersk Deliverer - Source: Maersk Drilling
Maersk Deliverer - Source: Maersk Drilling

An offshore drilling rig worker, employed on a Maersk Drilling rig in Australia, tested positive to coronavirus after going to overseas home, oil and gas company Inpex has informed.

"On 22 March we became aware that a person who recently worked on a contractor’s offshore drilling rig off the Kimberley had returned a positive test for COVID-19 shortly after returning to his overseas home,Inpex said on Tuesday.

Inpex did not say where the worker's overseas home was, but it did say the rig in question is Maersk Drilling's semi-submersible drilling unit Maersk Deliverer. According to Energynewsbulletin, the worker's overseas home is in Croatia and the rig was to drill at Inpex's Ichthys field.

"As a precaution, all non-essential personnel from the Maersk Deliverer are being transferred from the rig to start 14 days’ self-isolation either in Broome or their home location,” said INPEX Deputy Vice President Corporate Co-ordination Bill Townsend.

"As a business, we’re acutely aware of maintaining the integrity and continuity of our operations. But the health and welfare of our people remain our highest priority.

INPEX  said that it has established the Crisis Management Team (CMT) which is taking advice and guidance from the WA Department of Health and applying protocols across its locations in Perth, Broome, Darwin and offshore.

Inpex's COVID-19 response includes screening temperatures of workers traveling to offshore facilities, strict hygiene practices, social distancing.

The Australian industry safety regulator NOPSEMA last week wrote to all offshore petroleum facility operators, requiring them to review their infectious disease management plans to ensure that they have arrangements in place for reducing the health risks to the Australian offshore petroleum industry workforce.

NOPSEMA last week also said its own staff would be working remotely from March 23, until otherwise advised.



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