Santos’ plans to build gas fields across the Gunnedah Basin of North West New South Wales are being met with community opposition, with protests taking places in opposition of its Narrabri Gas Project.
The Narrabri Gas Project is Santos’ plan to drill 850 coal seam gas wells through the Pilliga forest, the largest inland forest left in Eastern Australia.
22,700 formal submissions opposing the project have been received by the Planning Department as well as 200 protesters taking to the streets in opposition of the fraccing.
In February 2017, Santos’ Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Kevin Gallagher, said Santos has spent time producing a comprehensive Environmental Impact Statement – which is currently being assessed by State and Commonwealth Government – so the local Narrabri community and stakeholders can be confident the environment and water will be protected as the project is developed.
“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 per cent 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.”
The project has already been delayed for years due to the geotechnical difficulties, environmental contamination and community protests.