Origin Energy to defend leaks claim by employee

  • 03/01/2016
(File)
(File)

Origin Energy says it'll vigorously defend a claim by a former employee that it covered up leaks at its oil and gas fields in New Zealand and Queensland.

Sally McDow, a former compliance manager with the company, lodged a statement of claim and other documents with the Federal Court of Australia on December 14.

She alleges there have been leaks at the company's facilities in Taranaki and at Surat in Queensland as far back as 2010, according to media reports.

Origin Energy says three independent organisations investigated Ms McDow's allegations, including of serious compliance issues or cover-ups, and they were not substantiated.

"Origin believes it has reported all reportable incidents to the relevant regulators," the company says in a statement.

The company will vigorously defend Ms McDow's claims in court.

There has been no known oil leak to an aquifer in the Surat fields, no known gas leaks at Kauri C in Taranaki and no known leaks from pipelines, the company says.

It's common for oil and gas facilities around the world to have very minor operational weeps of gas that were not reportable incidents, the company says.

NZN