Economy

Santos Shares Unmoved Despite Greenlight For Gas Project

Santos Shares Unmoved Despite Greenlight For Gas Project”

Santos seeks to drill 850 gas wells and build associated infrastructure across 95,000 hectares, encompassing the Pilliga State Forest and privately-owned farmland, southwest of the town of Narrabri, to produce 70 petajoules of gas per annum.

Santos has said the project will create up to 1,300 construction and 200 operational jobs when it is completed.

The Commission said it believed Santos's groundwater impact modelling was "fit for purpose", potential groundwater impacts could be managed, and biodiversity impacts could be offset with rigorous consultation with experts in preparation of management and field development.

"Following its detailed deliberations, the Commission concludes the project is in the public interest and that any negative impacts can be effectively mitigated with strict conditions", the Commission's statement of reasons for its decision reads.

The IPC has imposed stringent conditions on the plant's "phased" approval.

The independent NSW planning umpire has given it the green light with conditions in the face of thousands of submissions from the public opposed to it on environmental grounds. "The Narrabri Project does just that", APPEA said.

The development of the Narrabri project is divided into four phases: appraisal, construction, production, rehabilitation. Once all approvals are in place, a 12- to 18-month appraisal drilling program, including expansion of a water-monitoring network will follow to plan for the phased development of the project.

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From the outset Santos has touted the project as being a major job victor for the town, claiming it will create 1300 construction jobs, and 200 operational jobs, as well as shoring up the east coast gas market.

The Narrabri project involves the development of natural gas reserves in the Narrabri area, in northwest NSW and has the potential to meet 50% of the state's gas demand, according to Santos.

Santos welcomed the IPC's approval and thanked the Narrabri community for its strong support over many years. The Act is Australia's central piece of environmental legislation.

"This major step forward is welcome, but we must now gain the approval for the federal Minister for the Environment under the EPBC Act as well as other subsequent approvals".

Kevin Gallagher, CEO and Managing Director of Santos, said: "Santos is excited about the prospect of developing the Narrabri Gas Project, a 100% domestic gas project that can provide the lowest cost source of gas for NSW customers".

"The IPC outcome confirms that we have relied upon the best science to ensure the Narrabri Gas Project can be delivered safely and sustainably", Mr Gallagher said.

"The Applicant's groundwater impact modelling was considered fit for goal for this approval", the IPC statement said.



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