The Narrabri Gas Project (NGP) has been referred by the NSW Minister for Planning to the Independent Planning Commission (IPC) for determination, a key milestone in the independent approvals process.
The NSW Department of Planning will now complete its assessment report and provide the report to the IPC for its consideration.
The Minister has requested that the IPC hold public hearings and make a determination regarding the Narrabri Gas Project within 12 weeks of receiving the Department’s assessment report.
Santos is seeking approval to develop the project, which has the potential to supply enough natural gas to meet up to half of NSW’ natural gas demand. Santos has committed 100 per cent of Narrabri gas to the domestic market.
Santos Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Kevin Gallagher said a decision on whether or not Narrabri can proceed is vital for Santos to determine where it will invest in new natural gas developments.
“We have applied the best science to the environmental impact statement for Narrabri. We are confident that it will stand on its merits and that the project could be safely and sustainably developed to protect water resources and the environment. Santos will participate openly and transparently in the IPC process.”
Mr Gallagher said gas from Narrabri will be the most competitively-priced gas for NSW customers.
“Demand, and with it, prices, will ultimately recover, and therefore, we must continue to focus on how and when we need to develop future gas sources at the lowest possible cost of supply to increase competition.”
Santos’ Narrabri Gas Project could supply NSW homes, small businesses, major industries and electricity generators with up to half the state’s natural gas needs and bring substantial economic benefits to Narrabri and the region.
The gas from the project will be made available to the NSW market via a pipeline linking in to the existing Moomba to Sydney pipeline. The pipeline will be constructed and owned by APA Group and be subject to a separate approvals process. The pipeline route has not been finalised.
Operations will be located on around 1000ha of the 95,000 hectare Project area. The Project area is mostly located on state land in a section of the Pilliga set aside by the NSW Government for uses including logging and extractive industries. The Project area does not includes areas of National Park or Nature Reserves. The Project area does not contain land mapped by the Government as Biophysical Strategic Agricultural Land (BSAL) and Santos will only drill wells on the private land within the Project area if the landholder agrees to grant access.