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Incident At Moomba

On 16 June 2001 an explosion and fire occurred in the Liquids Pumping Station at the Moomba Gas Plant operated by Santos Ltd. on behalf of the South Australian Cooper Basin Producers.

Four workers were involved and one has since passed away. The other three workers did not require hospitalisation. Santos Managing Director, Mr John Ellice-Flint, said,

“It is a matter of deep regret and sadness to me that one of my colleagues at Santos has passed away as a result of injuries sustained in the accident at Moomba. He was a very popular, well respected and highly regarded member of the Santos team. He will be greatly missed by us all. I extend my deepest sympathy to all his family. “

The following information is provided for Stock Exchange purposes:

  • The incident has not directly affected gas production and processing facilities.
  • The Liquids Pumping Station is used to transport crude oil and petroleum liquids from the Moomba plant to Pt Bonython near Whyalla, typically at 30,000-40,000 barrels per day gross (18,000-24,000 barrels Santos share). It is currently inoperable.
  • Accordingly all South Australian oil production has been suspended. Condensate is being produced and stored at Moomba. LPG is being redirected to the gas supply or is being flared. The supply of ethane to Qenos was initially shut down but work is underway to resume partial production in the next day or so.

While it is not possible at this stage to precisely assess the cost of any loss or the time that it will take before full production is restored, Santos maintains comprehensive insurance cover that includes property damage and business interruption.

Santos expects to be in a position to inform the market by the end of the week of its assessment of the impact of the incident.

The cause of the incident has not yet been determined. Santos is working with Government authorities in the investigation.

The interests of the South Australian Cooper Basin Producers are:

Santos Group (Operator)


Delhi Petroleum Pty Ltd


Origin Energy Resources Ltd


Novus Australia Resources NL


Basin Oil Pty Ltd (OMV Aust Pty Ltd)