Support for NSW coal seam gas plan

Business, Normal

The National, Thursday 11th April, 2013

 SYDNEY: NSW Energy Minister Chris Hartcher has welcomed a proposal from Santos to meet a quarter of the state’s gas needs with coal seam gas within three years.

Santos has unveiled a plan to produce enough coal seam gas, from wells in the Pilliga state forest, to provide a quarter of NSW gas supply by 2016.

NSW is facing potential gas supply shortfalls or price hikes from 2016 as major contracts with interstate suppliers end.

This is the first time Santos has said it would use the state’s gas supply to feed into the local market.

Santos vice president for eastern Australia James Baulderstone told a gas industry conference in Sydney his company wanted to bring on a substantial amount of gas by 2016-17 but would only do so with landholders’ support.

Hartcher, who was also at the Australian Domestic Gas Outlook conference, said the proposal was not unexpected but had not yet been formally presented to the government.

“We were hopeful of it and we welcome it,” Hartcher said.

Speaking after his address, Baulderstone said Santos had initial exploration approvals but still had to satisfy state and federal regulations and an independent review of CSG industry impacts.

“Our message here is we will go in an area as isolated as possible, not because we are running away but we will prove ourselves there first,” he said. – AAP