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    August 12, 2022 - CLARISSA BYE


      AUSTRALIAN gas developer Santos has reached a milestone in its bid to bring more gas into NSW by buying out the Hunter Gas Pipeline.

      The planned pipeline, from Wallumbilla in Queensland to Newcastle in NSW, is already approved and passes close to the Narrabri gas project.

      The company said the acquisition was an important step for the long-delayed Narrabri project, which could supply more than half of NSW’s gas once running.

      Santos informed the Australian Stock Exchange on Thursday afternoon. Construction is expected to begin in early 2024.

      Company spokesman Brett Woods said the pipeline would help bring Narrabri gas to the domestic market via a short connection to the main pipeline.

      The pipeline will also be designed to transport hydrogen as customer demand evolves during the energy transition, the company said.

      It comes as federal and state energy ministers meet on Friday over the energy crisis and shortfalls in gas.

      The giant gas pipeline – which will go underground – will be a boon for regional towns in the Hunter, the company says, which will be able to get gas from “offtake points” along the route.

      “The route of the underground pipeline was specifically chosen to ensure minimum impact on communities, landholders and the environment, but there is room to make further improvements as needed,” Mr Woods said.

      He said the Narrabri project would inject new supply into domestic markets at a time when the ACCC was forecasting domestic gas shortfalls, and put downward pressure on gas prices. “It will make more gas available to cover peak demand periods, especially in circumstances where gas power generators are called on unexpectedly to replace wind, solar and coal outages,” he said. The company plans to do appraisal drilling later this year.


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