Santos’ Darwin Pipeline Duplication (DPD) Project will enable natural gas from offshore reservoirs to be exported to the existing Santos Darwin Liquefied Natural Gas Facility (DLNG) with minimal environmental and social impact.
Santos’ Darwin Pipeline Duplication (DPD) Project includes a ~23 km segment in Commonwealth waters (referred to as the ‘Additional Barossa GEP Segment) and ~100 km segment in NT waters and lands (referred to as the ‘Nearshore Barossa GEP’). (Figure 1)
The proposed Project pipeline will be located parallel to the existing Bayu-Undan to Darwin pipeline to minimise potential environmental and social impacts.
Similar gas export pipeline developments have been successfully managed in the Northern Territory, and there is a significant body of knowledge available that provides confidence in the environmental assessment and management effectiveness.
Complimentary approvals are required to cover both the Commonwealth Waters and Northern Territory waters components of the pipeline.
Multiple approvals are required as the DPD traverses through both Federal and Northern Territory State Waters.
The two key primary environmental approvals relating to the Project in the Northern Territory jurisdiction include consideration of Commonwealth protected Matters of National Environmental Significance (MNES) under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act), and referral under section 48 of the Environment Protection Act 2019 (NT).
Santos’ Darwin Pipeline Duplication (DPD) Project includes a ~23 km segment in Commonwealth waters (referred to as the ‘Additional Barossa GEP Segment’).
The Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act) provides for the protection of the environment and conservation of biodiversity in Australia (including Australian waters). Matters of National Environmental Significance (MNES) are protected under Part 3 of the Act and projects require approval under the Act if they are likely to result in a significant impact on MNES. A self-assessment against the EPBC Significant Impact Guidelines 1.1, was undertaken to determine whether referral under the EPBC Act is required for the Project. While Santos has concluded that significant impacts to MNES are unlikely, an EPBC Act referral for the Project (in NT waters) will be made.
The National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority (NOPSEMA) consider MNES listed under the EPBC Act in their environmental assessments of offshore petroleum and greenhouse gas storage activities within Commonwealth jurisdiction, under the Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage Act 2006 (OPGGS Act). Therefore, assessment and approval is not required from the Commonwealth Minister for the Environment in these circumstances.
The Commonwealth waters section of the DPD Project (~23 km, referred to as Additional Barossa GEP Segment) is being addressed through an Environment Plan revision, as a new stage of the Barossa GEP, under the OPGGS (Environment) Regulations 2009.
The Environment Protection Act (EP Act) and associated regulations replaced the Environmental Assessment Act 1999 on 28 June 2020. The EP Act aims to promote ecological sustainable development, manage significant disturbances through an environmental approval process, provide for broader community involvement and recognise the importance of participation of Aboriginal people and communities in environmental decisions. Under the Act, the NT EPA regulates the environment impact assessment process to identify potential environmental impacts of development proposals.
The NT EPA published a statutory notice on the DPD on 18 January 2022 and invited public comment on a referral for standard assessment. Interested persons were invited to make a submission until 15 February 2022. The NT EPA published the notice in accordance with regulation 52(1) of the Environment Protection Regulations 2020.
Your feedback and what's next
Consultation on the Northern Territory component of the DPD has closed following public notification in January 2022.
The Commonwealth waters section of the Darwin Pipeline Duplication Project is being addressed through an Environment Plan revision, as a new stage of the Barossa GEP, under the OPGGS (Environment) Regulations 2009. Further details of this component will be released later this year.
Your feedback is important to Santos. In preparing an environment plan for submission to NOPSEMA for the Additional Barossa GEP Segment, a titleholder must identify and consult with ‘relevant persons,’ and then consider their input in the development of the plan.
A relevant person is someone (or an organisation) who considers their functions, activities or interests may be affected by the planned activity. If you think you may be a relevant person for the purposes of this activity please contact 1800 267 600 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to be included in consultations and to provide feedback on how you would like to be consulted throughout this process.