Australia’s Santos loses bid to resume Barossa gas drilling & More Trending News


  • Santos to search new allow to resume gas drilling
  • Court ruling may sluggish different offshore initiatives
  • Santos, Woodside shares drop 3%

MELBOURNE, Dec 2 (Reuters) – Australia’s Federal Court rejected on Friday an enchantment by Santos Ltd (STO.AX) to resume drilling on its $3.6 billion Barossa gas venture off northern Australia after indigenous teams raised objections, probably delaying different offshore initiatives.

Three Federal Court judges dominated that Santos had not consulted all of the indigenous individuals on the Tiwi Islands that ought to have been consulted for its environmental plan, backing a problem introduced by a member of the Munupi clan.

The court docket’s resolution means all offshore builders may have to seek the advice of a variety of teams, together with these with cultural pursuits, when looking for regulatory approvals, which may sluggish different initiatives within the works comparable to Woodside Energy Group’s $12 billion Scarborough gas growth and linked Pluto LNG plant enlargement.

The court docket’s ruling hit Santos’ and Woodside’s shares. Both fell round 3% in a broader market (.AXJO) that was down simply 0.8%.

Santos on Friday mentioned it will apply for contemporary approvals for its greatest venture in step with the court docket’s order.

“Santos does not anticipate any material cost or schedule impact, and first gas from the Barossa Gas Project remains on track to be delivered in the first half of 2025,” the corporate mentioned in a press release.

The court docket backed a problem led by Munupi clan member Dennis Tipakalippa, who contended that the Barossa venture posed a danger to sacred websites and non secular connection to Sea Country north of the Tiwi Islands within the Timor Sea.

“Our sea is like our mother – we are part of the sea and the sea is part of us. Santos and every other gas company must take note that this is our country and we must be consulted,” Tipakalippa mentioned in a press release after the court docket handed down its resolution.

The Barossa gas subject is 300 km (186 miles) north of Darwin, whereas the Tiwi Islands lie about 80 km north of Darwin.

Santos had to droop drilling on the venture in September after a choose discovered that the environmental approval by the National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority (NOPSEMA) for the Barossa allow was invalid because it had not correctly consulted the Munupi clan in regards to the venture.

Tipakalippa’s lawyer advised the court docket Santos ought to have gone past the Tiwi Land Council to speak to individuals who had a particular curiosity in Sea Country, simply as Santos had talked to teams that had fishing and vacationer pursuits.

The court docket rejected the Santos arguments that it had consulted all of the related individuals who may be affected by its drilling and that it will be too arduous to seek the advice of all of the indigenous teams with connections to the world.

“In this case, we consider it clear that Mr Tipakalippa and the Munupi clan had interests … that required them to be consulted,” the three Federal Court judges mentioned of their resolution.

Credit Suisse analyst Saul Kavonic mentioned the court docket’s resolution “may cause a material delay to Barossa, as a new consultation process is undertaken and a new environmental plan is submitted and assessed by NOPSEMA”.

A lawyer on the Environmental Defenders Office, Alina Leikin, mentioned her Tiwi Island shoppers together with Tipakalippa don’t need drilling within the Timor Sea, however that may be a matter for the session course of.

“The community are hopeful that the regulator and Santos will understand and appreciate the depth of their concern and their desire to protect their Sea Country and won’t go ahead with this drilling,” Leikin advised Reuters by cellphone from the Tiwi Islands.

Reporting by Sonali Paul; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman and Edmund Klamann

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Australia’s Santos loses bid to resume Barossa gas drilling

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Australia’s Santos loses bid to resume Barossa gas drilling

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Australia’s Santos loses bid to resume Barossa gas drilling

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