NOPSEMA accepts Santos’ Barossa-Caldita proposal

This is the first time the petroleum regulator has accepted an Offshore Project Proposal (OPP), with the milestone confirming Barossa as a strong contender to supply backfill gas to Darwin LNG.

The Barossa-Caldita OPP represents a significant part of the development’s approval process.

In reviewing the OPP, the National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority (NOPSEMA) assessed the possible environmental risks of petroleum activities over the life of the Barossa project.

After careful assessment, NOPSEMA accepted the OPP, paving the way for the submission of more detailed environmental plans.

Santos has stated that the approvals confirm Barossa-Caldita as the best option for backfill gas supply to Darwin LNG, and the only gas supply source positioned to deliver gas when Bayu Undan production ends.

Following the announcement, Santos’ Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Mr Kevin Gallagher said that the approval was key to allowing the project to move ahead.

“Acceptance of the OPP gives us a level of regulatory comfort and the certainty we need to enter the Front End Engineering and Design (FEED) phase in the very near future.

“This is one of the major regulatory steps leading to offshore project development and petroleum production, and it reinforces Barossa’s position as the only gas supply source capable of meeting Darwin LNG’s timetable,” Mr Gallagher said.

The gas field is within the company’s Northern Australia portfolio, and represents a core long-life natural gas asset.

Santos has said that it is committed to working with its joint venture partners in Northern Australia to commercialise discovered resource base in the region, and to expand existing projects where possible.

Santos holds a 25% interest in the Barossa-Caldita joint venture along with partners ConocoPhillips (37.5% and operator) and SK E&S (37.5%).

Santos is also a joint venture partner in Darwin LNG with an 11.5% interest.

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