Origin has recommenced drilling at five rig sites in Queensland after asbestos was found in its supplier’s drilling mud.
The company suspended drilling at 12 rig sites across the state last Thursday after it was revealed an imported product, NUTPLUG, occasionally used in drilling fluids was found to contain asbestos.
Origin immediately suspended operations, with specialist support made available to those that may have been exposed, including a hotline.
Today the company announced after working through a “comprehensive and systematic process of airborne and surface testing to ensure drilling rigs either have no traces of asbestos or have been verified as safe and cleared to resume operations”, five rigs have been returned to work.
The remaining seven rigs are expected to progressively return to service over the coming days.
“Origin’s highest priorities are, and will continue to be, the health and safety of everyone associated with the project and minimising impacts on the environment,” the company said in a statement.