In a statement to Energy News, Ichthys operator Inpex confirmed a worker aboard the Maersk rig off the coast of Western Australia had returned a positive test for COVID-19.
The Maersk Deliverer was not currently in service for Inpex but was sailing to a gas and condensate field for an upcoming drilling campaign.
The workers positive test came after the employee had returned home to Croatia. He had been working on the rig until recently.
Late last night The West Australian broke the story, reporting that 24 other employees on the rig may have been exposed to the infected worker.
These workers have been medevaced from the rig to shore for testing and will remain in isolation. None of them are showing any signs of illness.
"We are implementing a detailed response plan in line with health agency and regulatory protocols and in close collaboration with Maersk Drilling as the facility operator," Inpex deputy vice president for corporate coordination Bill Townsend told Energy News today.
"As a precautionary measure, all non-essential personnel on the drilling rig are being transferred onshore to commence self-isolation."
Where self-isolation takes place is being finalised. The company said it hoped to enable workers affected to self-isolate at their home locations.
The National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority (NOPSEMA) has been notified. Whether or not the regulator will conduct an investigation is yet to be known.
Maersk has contacted all employees who may have been in contact with the affected crew member, to ensure they are monitoring themselves for any symptoms.
Inpex has now established a specialised COVID-19 crisis management team which will operate in parallel with the company's existing crisis team.
It is also asking many of its office staff and non-essential workers to work from home and use teleconferencing instead of face-to-face meetings.
Production at Ichthys has not been impacted.