The coronavirus has delayed the start of the latest drilling campaign at national upstream company Petronas Carigali’s D21 field off Sarawak, East Malaysia, with all the rig’s crew to be tested for the virus.

Borr Drilling’s jack-up Mist had been contracted for the D21 drilling programme, which was due to start this month or next, but the unit has yet to mobilise to D21 because of the health scare.

“Mist’s movement dates have been postponed due to Covid-19 tests for all crew involve [sic], until further notice,” Malaysian coastguard authorities stated in a notice to mariners.

It is unknown whether any of the crew has tested positive for the coronavirus.

The Mist initially had been due to depart in mid-September from anchorage at Labuan en route to the D21JT-A platform off Sarawak where it is intended to perform drilling operations until late April 2021.

Petronas and Australian independent Roc Oil are among the partners in the D35/D21/J4 production sharing contract.

Operator Petronas has appointed 30% partner Roc as the project development manager — responsible for subsurface management, well engineering, new facilities projects and redevelopment project execution.

Borr last month revealed that Roc had rescinded an earlier termination notice for the Mist, with the rig now only suspended until the scheduled start-up of operations off Sarawak in September or October.

Roc’s website notes that the D21 redevelopment project commenced in 2019, all major structural modifications have been completed for a three-slot deck extension and “drilling is planned to commence in 2020”.

The co-venturers had originally lined up the Malaysian-flagged vessels Perdana Voyager and Setia Hijrah to support the mobile offshore drilling unit Mist on its voyage from Labuan.

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The Malaysian Coastguard last week revealed that the Taha Assafa would be replacing the Perdana Voyager, while the Perdana Expedition would now also be supporting the Mist’s journey to D21.

The revised aim then had been for the drilling rig to depart Labuan on 24 September rather than the 15September as first intended, however that is now postponed indefinitely due to the crew undergoing Covid-19 testing.

Nobody was immediately available at Borr for comment.