Origin Suspends Drilling at 12 Rig Sites for APLNG Project in Queensland

Origin Energy Limited, as upstream operator of the Australia Pacific LNG Project, reported Thursday that it has taken the precautionary measure to suspend its drilling operations across 12 rig sites in south west central Queensland, Australia to allow for an investigation into a supply incident.

This measure follows notification from one of the company's drilling fluid suppliers, Australian Mud Company Pty Ltd. (AMC), that an imported product (NUTPLUG) sometimes used in drilling fluids has been found to contain asbestos.

When notified by AMC of the potential of affected material, Origin took immediate precautionary action to safeguard our employees, contractors and landholders.

All stocks of affected material have 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 that material from each location for safe disposal. In the interim, an alternative product has been sourced.

AMC has instigated a withdrawal of the product from the market and is conducting tests into the source and introduction into the supply chain. AMC has advised Origin that it has formally notified relevant authorities. In parallel, Origin has instigated its own independent investigation and has also informed the relevant authorities and regulatory bodies.

Our highest priority remains the health and safety of everyone associated with the project. Specialist support is being provided to those who may have been exposed to the drilling fluid additives and a specialist hotline has been established 1800 737 965.

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