Oil and Gas News

APPEA backs Narrabri as Santos progresses project

The Narrabri gas project has reached another milestone with the New South Wales Department of Planning, Industry and Environment endorsing the project and referring it to the Independent Planning Commission (IPC) for final approval.

“The Department of Planning, Industry and Environment has concluded its assessment of the Narrabri gas project and referred the project to the IPC for public hearing and determination, recommending approval with strict conditions,” a Department of Planning, Industry and Environment spokesperson said.

Santos has accepted the conditions proposed by the NSW Department of Planning and plans to participate constructively and transparently in the IPC’s hearings and deliberations over the next 12 weeks.

Managing director and chief executive officer Kevin Gallagher said a decision on Narrabri was more important than ever as the economy came out of hibernation from COVID-19 restrictions.

“We welcome the positive recommendation from the New South Wales Department of Planning and the sensible, independent planning process the project is going through,” Gallagher said.

Australian Petroleum Production & Exploration Association (APPEA) chief executive officer Andrew McConville said the referral was a critical step in assessing the project for NSW and providing new gas supply for the state.

“This is an important project for the NSW economy and will play an important role in its economic recovery,” McConville said. “NSW relies on interstate gas for 96 per cent of its needs and the Narrabri gas project could supply up to half of NSW’s gas needs.”

The project involves drilling up to 850 coal seam gas (CSG) wells to produce up to 200 terajoules (TJ) of gas a day for the domestic gas market over a period of at least 20 years, which is enough to supply up to 50 per cent of NSW’s gas demand.

McConville added that the Narrabri gas project could be a huge win for local communities and NSW as a whole.

“Allowing the IPC to do its job and independently assess the merits of the project is a critical step for the project’s success,” McConville said. “A decision on Narrabri is more important than ever, for manufacturing and businesses throughout the state.”