Australian oil and gas company Santos was granted on Wednesday a phased-approval for its Narrabri gas project, by the New South Wales (NSW) Independent Planning Commission (IPC), Kallanish Energy reports.
The $2 billion project was referred to the IPC in March this year. Santos said it will accept the conditions proposed by the IPC and will work with the federal department of environment as it considers its recommendation to ministers on the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act approval. The company must obtain federal approval under the aforementioned legislation to go ahead with the project.
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. Its full development would involve drilling of up to 850 coal seam gas wells on 1,000 hectares of a 95,000-hectare site that includes Pilliga forest and nearby grazing land.
Santos will begin planning for workover activities immediately on existing wells under its current exploration tenures. Should all necessary approvals transpire, a 12- to 18-month appraisal drilling program, including expansion of our water monitoring network, will commence.
The company stated that this appraisal will inform the final plans for the phased development of the Narrabri project.
CEO Kevin Gallagher welcomed the “comprehensive, transparent and inclusive” process from both the IPC and the NSW government for the project’s evaluation. “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,” he said.
“As the economy recovers from Covid-19, game-changing projects like the Narrabri Gas Project are critical to creating jobs, driving investment, turbo-charging regional development and delivering more competitive energy prices,” added Gallagher.
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