Origin has suspended drilling across 12 rig sites after asbestos was found in its supplier’s drilling mud.
According to Origin, it comes after it was notified by its drilling fluid supplier, Australian Mud Company (AMC), that an imported product, NUTPLUG, occasionally used in drilling fluids was found to contain asbestos.
Following notification Origin immediately suspended operations.
“All stocks of affected material have been quarantined and accounted for throughout the supply chain from storage warehouse to sites, and specialist waste removal experts are in the process of removing that material from reach location for safe disposal,” Origin said in a company statement.
“Our highest priority remains the health and safety of everyone associated with the project,” Origin said, “specialist support is being provided to those that may have been exposed to the drilling fluid additives and a specialist hotline has been established”.
“In the interim an alternative product has been sourced,” it added.
AMC, a subsidiary of Imedex, has also withdrawn the product and is carrying out tests into the source and its introduction into the supply chain.