Court rejects appeal against Santos’ Narrabri gas project

Australian LNG player Santos has welcomed the judicial review decision of the NSW Land and Environment Court on its Narrabri gas project in New South Wales.

The court upheld the decision of the NSW Independent Planning Commission, Santos said in a statement on Monday.

“Santos now looks forward to getting on with our work in regional New South Wales to create jobs, drive investment and bring long-term energy security to the state at competitive prices,” the firm said in a statement.

According to Santos, the Narrabri gas project has the potential to supply enough natural gas to meet up to half of NSW’s natural gas demand where more than one million family homes, about 33,000 businesses and 300,000 jobs rely on natural gas as a source of energy.

Timelines pushed back

Santos chief Kevin Gallagher said while the legal process had pushed the timelines for the project back 12 months, Santos was committed to “bringing much needed domestic gas to New South Wales.”

“We are seeing play out in real time around the world what happens if you do not have domestic energy security,” Gallagher said.

He said on the east coast of Australia, regulators continue to warn about an increasingly tight market in the future.

“A shortage of supply means only one thing and that is higher prices for NSW households and businesses,” he said.

Gallagher said if NSW would now import gas from the international spot market via an import terminal, it would cost NSW customers more than five times the cost of gas from Narrabri.

“As I have said for many years, Narrabri gas will always be cheaper for NSW customers than gas imported from other states or overseas,” he said.

Appraisal drilling phase

Following the NSW government’s future of gas statement in July, Narrabri will be the only source of local gas for the state.

Santos has committed 100 percent of the gas from the Narrabri project to the domestic market.

“This decision now allows us to get on with the appraisal drilling phase of the project and create jobs, drive investment and attract new businesses to the region,” Gallagher said.

Santos added it would review its rights to seek costs.

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