Santos’ Darwin Pipeline Duplication (DPD) project will enable natural gas from offshore reservoirs to be exported to the existing Santos Darwin liquefied natural gas (DLNG) facility.
Santos is currently preparing:
- an Environment Plan (EP) relating to the installation and pre-commissioning of the approximately 23 km long section of the Darwin Pipeline Duplication (DPD) and supporting subsea infrastructure, located in Commonwealth waters where offshore petroleum activities are regulated by the Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage Act 2006 (Cth) (OPGGS Act); and
- an Offshore Construction Environmental Management Plan (CEMP) which includes the installation of approximately 8.26 km of the DPD pipeline in an area covered by the Northern Territory Petroleum (Submerged Lands Act) 1981 (NT) (PSL Act).
The activities described above are more simply referred to the ‘DPD activity’.
DPD Project activities include those undertaken in Commonwealth waters, approximately 95km north-west of Darwin and approximately 27km south-west of the Tiwi Islands (Figure 1) and those undertaken in an area of NT coastal waters between the Commonwealth/NT coastal waters boundary and the Territorial Sea Baseline (TSB) with a width of approximately 5.5km.
The proposed pipeline will be located parallel to the existing Bayu-Undan to Darwin pipeline to minimise potential environmental and social impacts. Activities will occur within an operational area defined as approximately a 3000m radius around the PLET and a 2000m buffer either side of the DPD route. The operational area encompasses the installation of the DPD, as well as the movements of support vessels in the immediate vicinity of the pipelay vessel. Activity vessels and helicopters within the operational area are considered part of the activity under the DPD EP.
The Commonwealth Government’s independent expert regulator for offshore oil and gas development, National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority (NOPSEMA), accepted the Barossa Offshore Project Proposal (OPP) in March 2018.
The DPD Project, specifically the proposed activities in Commonwealth waters, was not included in the Barossa OPP, as the initial intent was to tie the Barossa gas export pipeline directly into the existing Bayu-Undan gas export pipeline. The current intention is to preserve the existing Bayu-Undan pipeline for potential future use to facilitate regional carbon capture and storage. Santos has referred the DPD Project (including the portion of the Project in Commonwealth waters) to the Minister under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act). The DPD Project was determined to be a ‘controlled action’ on 6 December 2022. Approval of the DPD Project under the EPBC Act will constitute the government’s ‘project-level’ environmental approval for the Project, with installation and operation of the DPD Project in Commonwealth waters to be subject to acceptance of activity-level EPs by NOPSEMA.
The DPD Project within NT jurisdiction requires primary approval under the Environmental Protection Act 2019 (NT) (NT EP Act). Following a public comment period, the DPD Project referral under the NT EP Act was determined by the NT Environment Protection Authority (NT EPA) to require assessment by way of Supplementary Environmental Report (SER). The DPD Project SER has been submitted to the NT EPA and has undergone a public comment period. The SER is currently under assessment.
To be accepted by NOPSEMA, an EP must meet the requirements set out in the Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage (Environment) Regulations 2009 (OPGGS Environment Regulations).
For the DPD activity in NT coastal waters, a DPD Construction Environmental Management Plan (CEMP) will be submitted to the NT Department of Industry Tourism and Trade (DITT) for acceptance under the PSL Act.
In order to meet its proposed schedule for the Barossa Gas Project, Santos is aiming to submit the DPD EP to NOPSEMA and the CEMP to DITT and, subject to regulatory acceptance, to commence activities in 2024. This timeline has been developed by Santos to meet this objective, while still providing a reasonable period for meaningful consultation, having regard to Santos’s regulatory obligations and to feedback from relevant persons.
Seeking information and what's next
In preparing an EP for submission to NOPSEMA, a titleholder must consult with each ‘relevant person’, including relevant Commonwealth, State and Northern Territory Departments or agencies and persons (or organisations) whose functions, interests or activities may be affected by the activity proposed to be carried out under an EP.
For more information about ‘relevant persons’ please click here or scan this QR Code:
Relevant persons being consulted on EPs under the Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage (Environment) Regulations 2009 (Cth) (OPGGS Environmental Regulations) should note that they:
- are entitled to be given sufficient information to allow them to make an informed assessment of the possible consequences of the activity on their functions, interests or activities;
- are entitled to be allowed a reasonable period for the consultation; and
- may request particular information provided in consultation not be published.
If you do ask this, Santos will respect that, and the information will not be published under the OPGGS Environment Regulations. Information we need to give to NOPSEMA to assess our plan will be provided in a separate report (rather than in the published EP).
Your input is important to Santos:
- so that we can understand the environmental values in the operational area and the environment that may be affected, and the environmental impacts and risks associated with the activity;
- to inform how consultation processes may need to be adapted for different relevant persons;
- to ensure that we provide information to people in an appropriate and accessible manner; and
- to assist with Santos’ preparation of the EP.
If you think you may be a relevant person for the purposes of one of Santos’ proposed activities in the Commonwealth or Northern Territory waters, please contact Santos on 1800 267 600 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to seek to be included in consultations and to provide feedback on how you would like to be consulted (if a relevant person).
The laws that relate to consultation regarding the environment plans may require us to collect personal information about you if your feedback is to be included in any report we prepare (including so that a copy of that report can be provided to you if you request). If you do not provide your personal information, we may not be able to identify you as the person who provided particular feedback (including in any report relating to consultation) or discuss any feedback you have provided with you further.
The information you provide will be collected by or on behalf of us and may be disclosed to other companies in the Santos group, to third parties that help us run our business, or as required by law (including collection and disclosure of information to relevant government agencies and departments to which we are required to provide reports). Your feedback may also be reflected in our environment plans (subject to any non-publication requests, as described below). We may disclose your personal information to recipients that are located outside of Australia, including in Papua New Guinea and the United States of America.
- posting a letter addressed to us at 60 Flinders Street, Adelaide;
- telephoning us on (08) 8116 5000; or
- sending us an email at email@example.com.
You may request that any information you provide in this form, or during any consultation, not be published (including as part of any environment plan or related reports). You can make this request by selecting the option in the form below. If you select this option, the information will not be published and Santos may contact you to discuss your wishes.
Notification of publication of preliminary documentation
Santos has prepared a Preliminary Documentation Report which is required to be published under section 95A(3) of the EPBC Act. Public comments are invited on the Project Preliminary Documentation Report and can be made until Friday, 15 December 2023.
To view the documentation please click here.
Relevant person nomination form
Further information and links
- The Barossa Gas Project – Proposed Darwin Pipeline Duplication (DPD) Environment Plan fact sheets
- DPD Project EPBC Act Referral
- Barossa Offshore Project Proposal
- Barossa Offshore Project Proposal appendices
- NOPSEMA Environment Plan content requirements
- NOPSEMA Environment Plan consultation requirements
- NOPSEMA Consultation on offshore petroleum environment plans – Information for the community
- Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage (Environment) Regulations 2009