Oil Search confirmed to PNGIndustryNews.net that it did contract the rig for its offshore drilling campaign in Papua New Guinea, with drilling scheduled to start in late 2012 and to continue into the first quarter of 2013.
An Oil Search spokesperson said any delays were dependent on the investigation's duration and outcome.
According to Australian Workers Union claims to the press, the two men who died a week ago on the Origin Energy-contracted rig in Victoria's Otway Basin were fatally struck by a piece of machinery which had failed.
Victorian police revealed the deceased were 32-year-old Peter Meddens from Darwin and 60-year-old Barry Denholm from Lossiemouth in Scotland.
An electrical fire incident had since occurred on the rig.
Oil Search previously aimed to bring in a suitable project operator before its offshore drilling campaign began and started canvassing interest earlier this year.
Its farm-out data room has generated various bids.
Back in June Oil Search was expecting to finalise a deal at some stage in the September quarter.
Possible LNG and liquids commercialisation opportunities could emerge from drilling various targets in the Gulf of Papua plus onshore in the Gulf province.