Santos NT gas project good news for jobs and economy

Joint media release with Senator for the Northern Territory Dr Sam McMahon

The Minister for Resources, Water and Northern Australia Keith Pitt has welcomed the final investment decision by Santos and its joint venture partners to develop the Barossa Gas Field, which is located in Commonwealth waters around 300km north of Darwin.

Minister Pitt joined Santos CEO Kevin Gallagher, Senator for the Northern Territory Dr Sam McMahon, and the Northern Territory Chief Minister Michael Gunner in Darwin today to mark the significant milestone for the Barossa LNG backfill project and the Darwin LNG facility.

“The final investment decision for the Barossa project is a tremendous show of confidence in the long-term future of Australia’s resource sector,” Minister Pitt said.

“It is also a great sign that oil and gas market conditions have improved.

“I want to congratulate everyone involved in the project, including Kevin Gallagher, everyone at Santos and in the Joint Venture in making this decision. Progress on the Barossa project means new investment, economic growth and development in the Northern Territory, and for Australia.

“As the Minister for Northern Australia, the undertaking provided by Santos that operational staff will be based in the Northern Territory is especially welcomed – ensuring that more of the benefits flowing from the project are captured here in the Territory.”

Senator for the Northern Territory Dr Sam McMahon said the project would be a major economic boost to the Territory and provide much needed jobs.

“The announcement of the development of this field, with gas and particularly condensates so close to Darwin, will provide opportunities for us to capitalise on value adding with new industries,” Dr McMahon said.

“The NT is uniquely placed to develop a thriving petrochemical industry, amongst others, on the back of this announcement. It comes at a time when the NT couldn’t need it more, our economy was in tatters before COVID and we desperately need business and industry to get us back on track.”

The world-class Barossa field contains over 4.5 trillion cubic feet of recoverable gas resources and nearly 50 million barrels of condensate. This field will provide backfill gas for the Darwin LNG facility at Wickham point, ensuring that Darwin LNG remains operational for the next 15 -20 years.

Santos Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director Kevin Gallagher said the project will unlock new business and export opportunities for the nation.

“As the economy re-emerges from the COVID-19 lockdowns, these job-creating and sustaining projects are critical for Australia,” Mr Gallagher said.

“The Barossa and Darwin life extension projects are good for the economy and good for local jobs and business opportunities in the Northern Territory.”

The Barossa gas project is expected to produce an average of 3.5 million tonnes of LNG a year, providing valuable LNG export revenue, secure jobs and business opportunities in Darwin.

Barossa and Darwin LNG life extension will create 600 jobs throughout the construction phase and secure 350 jobs for the next 20 years of production at the Darwin LNG facility.

Barossa will support Australia’s gas-fired economic recovery ensuring Darwin’s future as a gas-based processing and industry hub, Minister Pitt added.

Last week, Santos awarded the Barossa Floating Production, Storage and Offtake facility contract to BW Offshore, ticking off the final milestone ahead of Barossa FID.

Santos and its joint venture partners are targeting Barossa to begin production in 2025. In the meantime, Santos will continue developing the mature Bayu-Undan field and commence infill drilling later this year to extend field life and maintain production.

The announcement builds on the $224 m of assistance that the Morrison-McCormack Government is providing for the accelerated exploration and development of the world-class Beetaloo Basin.

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