SANTOS has taken a critical step forward towards a go-ahead for its proposed Narrabri Gas Project with the submission of the State Significant Development Application and associated Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to the NSW Department of Planning and Environment.

The proposed Narrabri Gas Project, located in North West NSW, could supply up to 50% of NSW gas needs and provide significant benefits to the region and the state more broadly. Santos will make the gas available to NSW and the east coast domestic market via a pipeline linking into the existing Moomba to Sydney Pipeline. The pipeline will be constructed by APA Group and will be subject to a separate approval.

Santos’ managing director and CEO, Kevin Gallagher, said Santos has produced a comprehensive EIS.

“The EIS has concluded the project can proceed safely with minimal and manageable risk to the environment,” Mr Gallagher said.

“The Narrabri Gas Project has the potential to play a significant role in the domestic energy space. Natural gas has a vital role to play in delivering energy security, whilst having the additional benefit of being 50% cleaner than coal resulting in a significant reduction in carbon emissions. The development of new natural gas resources is crucial in assisting Australia’s move towards a clean energy future.

“In NSW alone, more than one million homes and 33,000 businesses rely on natural gas as a source of energy,” Mr Gallagher said.

The NSW Government estimates the top 500 industrial gas users provide more than 300,000 jobs which rely on an affordable, secure supply of natural gas and has recognised the project’s significance, declaring it a Strategic Energy Project.

The Project could create about 1300 jobs during the initial construction phase and around 200 ongoing jobs, many of which will be locally based.