Our Activities

Cooper Basin (overview)  


Onshore central Australia, in north-east South Australia and south-west Queensland.
The Santos operations in the Cooper Basin in South Australia are on the traditional lands of the Dieri, and Yandruwandha/Yawarrawarrka peoples.
In south-west Queensland, Santos operations in the Cooper Basin are on the traditional lands of the Wongkumara people.  Santos also engages with the Kullili, Boonthamarra and Bigambul and Mithika peoples who are also traditional owners in this region. 


South Australia
Santos 66.6% (operator)
Delhi 20.21%
Origin  13.19%
South-West Queensland
60.0625% (operator)


The first commercial gas discovery was made at the Gidgealpa field in 1963.
The first Permian oil discovery was made at the Tirrawarra field in 1970.
The first Jurassic oil discovery was made at the Strzelecki field in 1978.

First Production

Gas sales to Adelaide commenced in 1969.
Gas sales to Sydney commenced in 1976.
Ethane sales to Sydney commenced in 1996.
Gas sales to Brisbane commenced in 1997.
Gas sales to Mt Isa commenced in 1998.

Cost to Develop

As at YE 2014 total gross expenditure by the Cooper Basin Joint Venture is over A$10 billion, making it one of Australia’s largest ever onshore resources projects.

Facility Details

The Cooper Basin contains approximately 190 gas fields and 115 oil fields currently on production. These fields contain approximately 820 producing gas wells and more than 400 producing oil wells which feed into production facilities at Moomba in South Australia and Ballera in Queensland through approximately 5,600 kilometres of pipelines and flowlines via 15 major satellite facilities incorporating field boost compression (65 satellite compressors, 15 nodal compressors).

The Moomba facility also incorporates substantial underground storage for processed sales gas and ethane, while Ballera has a smaller underground storage system for processed sales gas.

Natural gas liquids are recovered via a refrigeration process in the Moomba plant and sent together with stabilised crude oil and condensate via pipeline to Port Bonython near Whyalla, South Australia.

Ethane is sent to Qenos in Sydney via a dedicated pipeline. Sales gas is sent to Adelaide and Sydney via pipelines from Moomba and sales gas is sent to Mt Isa and to Brisbane via pipeline.