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Origin halts drilling at CSG sites

World Coal,

Origin Energy, the operator responsible for coal seam gas drilling at the Australia Pacific LNG project, has stopped work at 12 sites in Queensland after asbestos was found in drilling fluids being used by the company.

Drilling fluid

The decision to halt drilling follows notification from one of Origin’s drilling fluid suppliers, Australian Mud Company Pty Ltd, that an imported product (NUTPLUG) sometimes used in drilling fluids has been found to contain asbestos.

Origin took immediate precautionary action to safeguard its employees, contractors and landholders, after being notified of the potential of affected material.


The asbestos-contaminated material has all been quarantined and accounted for throughout the supply chain from storage warehouse to site, and specialist waste removal experts are in the process of removing the material from each of the 12 locations for safe disposal. An alternative product has already been sourced.

Origin said it was providing support to anyone who may have been exposed to the asbestos-tainted drilling fluids and is investigating how many people may have been affected.

Edited from various sources by Katie Woodward

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