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Court upholds Narrabri approval

Court upholds Narrabri approval
Mining News Pro - The New South Wales Land and Environment Court has upheld the New South Wale Independent Planning Commission’s approval of the Narrabri gas project.
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Oil and gas major Santos has welcomed the dismissal of the appeal against the Narrabri project, saying on Monday that the company was now looking forward to getting on with the work to develop the project.

MD and CEO 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.

“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 New South Wales households and businesses. If gas was currently being imported into New South Wales from the international spot market via an import terminal it would cost New South Wales 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 New South Wales customers than gas imported from other states or overseas.

“It’s why we have committed 100% of the gas from the Narrabri gas project to the domestic market. Following the New South Wales government’s Future of Gas Statement in July, Narrabri will be the only source of local gas for the state.

“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, building a better future for the people of Narrabri,” Gallagher said.

The Narrabri gas project has the potential to supply enough natural gas to meet up to half of New South Wales’s natural gas demand where more than one-million family homes, some 33 000 businesses and some 300 000 jobs rely on natural gas as a source of energy.

With the commercial and industrial sector currently making up almost 50% of total gas consumption in New South Wales, reliable and competitively-priced natural gas is essential for a strong New South Wales economy.

The Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association (Appea) has welcomed the court decision, with CEO Andrew McConville saying the decision gives certainty to the people of Narrabri, and certainty to gas customers throughout New South Wales.

‘’What’s important for the local community is to ensure the best gas and the most affordable gas is sourced from the region. That helps keep gas prices competitive. The Narrabri project is forecast to deliver 70PJ of supply to the New South Wales domestic market, meeting the half of the state’s forecast gas needs, powering more than one-million homes and around 330 000 businesses,’’ McConville said.

‘’New supply can only come from a new wave of investment across exploration, development, construction and operation. Reliable, secure and competitively priced energy is crucial to our everyday lives in Australia. Oil and gas plays a key role in meeting many of our energy needs.

“The Narrabri gas project can help New South Wales meet its energy needs and deliver secure and reliable energy. Today’s decision is a step towards delivering that reliable energy.

‘’Our abundant natural gas resources in particular, place Australia in an enviable position to maintain long-term, cleaner energy security domestically and internationally. Maintaining and enhancing this contribution will be vital as Australia looks to recover from the economic impacts of the Covid-19,’’ McConville said.

‘’The best way to put downward pressure on gas prices for customers, including manufacturers, is to increase supply and competition. The Narrabri project does just that. This is an important outcome for energy security and reliability for the state of New South Wales.’’


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