The Darwin LNG Plant. Picture: Supplied
The Darwin LNG Plant. Picture: Supplied

City on track to be national gas hub after $2.2bn deal

AUSTRALIAN energy giant Santos has revealed plans for Darwin to be one of its key national hubs.

Santos chief executive Kevin Gallagher said future plans are for it to be a key link in the Adelaide, Brisbane, Perth nexus.

Mr Gallagher said the completion today of the $2.2 billion gas deal to take the dominant stake in ConocoPhillips' Darwin LNG plant and northern assets, will pave the way for that.

"We will immediately get to work in Darwin now … we want Darwin to be a core part of our universe," Mr Gallagher said.

"We see Darwin as a critical part of a long term growth strategy for Santos and we want to have a much stronger presence up in Darwin.

"The completion of the ConocoPhillips Darwin LNG acquisition is the start of building a strong presence in Darwin and becoming a much more prominent member of the Northern Territory and its community in the years ahead.

"We look forward to not only bringing Bayu Undan gas into Darwin and giving Darwin LNG another 15 or 20 years life, but we look forward to expanding it and creating more high paying jobs in the region for years ahead."

The Barossa gas field offshore project, 300km north of Darwin, is the lead candidate to supply backfill gas through Bayu Undan to the Darwin LNG plant.

Santos had expected to take a final investment decision on the Barossa project in the second quarter of this year, however the coronavirus pandemic has delayed that until "market conditions permit".

"We want to centre more of our operations up in that part of the world," Mr Gallagher said.

"The great thing about Darwin and the Northern Territory is that it is surrounded with hundreds of years worth of stranded potential resource and what we want to do is have a long term strategic objective to grow Darwin and exploit those resources.

"It is right on the doorstep of Asia and could not be better positioned for the customers that want that gas. We are very excited about being part of the future in Darwin.

"Santos stands for the South Australia and Northern Territory Oil Search company, so we have Northern Territory in our name and we are very keen to increase our presence in Darwin.

"Ultimately today we see Santos as being Adelaide, Brisbane and Perth and tomorrow we want Darwin to be the other Santos key centre."

Originally published as Darwin on track to be national gas hub after $2.2bn deal

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