The operator of the APLNG project, Origin Energy, has suspended drilling at 12 rig sites in south east Queensland due to fears of asbestos contamination.
Origin Energy has suspended drilling at 12 rig sites in south east Queensland as it investigates an asbestos contamination incident.
Origin says the suspension of drilling at its Australian Pacific liquefied natural gas (LNG) project is a precautionary measure.
“This measure follows notification from one of our drilling fluid suppliers, Australian Mud Company (AMC) that an imported product (NUTPLUG) sometimes used in drilling fluids has been found to contain asbestos,” Origin said in a statement.
The company said all stocks of affected material have been quarantined and accounted for throughout the supply chain, from storage warehouse to site.
It says specialist waste removal experts were removing material from each location for safe disposal.
AMC is withdrawing the product from the market and conducting tests into the source and introduction into the supply chain.
Origin and AMC have notified authorities and Origin is carrying out an investigation into the incident.
A hotline has been established for anyone who may have been exposed to asbestos contaminated drilling fluid additives.
In the meantime, Origin says an alternative product has been sourced.
Origin shares dropped 17 cents, or 1.2 per cent, to $14.39.