• Natural Gas News

    NSW court rejects appeal against Santos' Narrabri gas project

Summary

Santos said while the legal process had pushed the timelines for the project back 12 months, it was committed to bringing much-needed domestic gas to NSW.

by: Shardul Sharma

Posted in:

Complimentary, NGW News Alert, Natural Gas & LNG News, Asia/Oceania, Security of Supply, Corporate, Litigation, Exploration & Production, Investments, News By Country, Australia

NSW court rejects appeal against Santos' Narrabri gas project

The New South Wales (NSW) Land and Environment Court has rejected an appeal into the approval of the Narrabri gas project, the project operator Santos said on October 18. The legal challenge was launched by a group of local farmers known as the Mullaley Gas and Pipeline Accord (MGPA). 

Santos said it welcomes the judicial review decision of the court on the Narrabri project, upholding the decision of the NSW Independent Planning Commission.

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 NSW.

"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,” Gallagher said.

“If gas was currently being imported into NSW 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 added. 

According to Santos, the project has the potential to supply enough gas to meet up to half of NSW’s demand. The Narrabri project got the state government approval in June last year and the federal government greenlight in November. It has been mired in controversy as many activists say it poses a risk to the local environment. Santos has always denied these claims. 

Australia's peak oil and gas body Appea in a separate statement said that the decision gives certainty to the people of Narrabri, and certainty to gas customers throughout NSW.

‘’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," Appea CEO Andrew McConville said.

“The Narrabri gas project can help NSW meet its energy needs and deliver secure and reliable energy. Today’s decision is a step towards delivering that reliable energy," he added. 

MGPA spokesperson and Mullaley beef farmer Margaret Fleck said the group was disappointed with the result, ABC News reported. Their lawyers, Environmental Defenders Office, will review the judgment in the coming days, it added.