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Interim Report - 22 August 2001

Santos Quarter Billion Dollar Interim Profit

Santos today announced a record half year profit for the six months ended 30 June 2001 of $251.5 million, a 21.5% increase on the 2000 first half result of $207.0 million. This result reflects record first half sales revenue.

Earnings per share were 41.1 cents compared with 34.1 cents in the 2000 first half.

Directors have declared an interim ordinary dividend of 15 cents per share, fully franked. The 2001 interim dividend has been held at the same level as in 2000, consistent with the Company’s growth strategy, announced at the Annual General Meeting in May. The dividend will be paid on 28 September 2001 to shareholders registered in the books of the Company at the close of business on 7 September 2001. This dividend payment date is seven weeks earlier than in 2000.

Commenting on the results the Managing Director, Mr John Ellice-Flint said:

“This is a very good interim result and it places the company in a strong position for the year. The second half result will depend on production and cost performance, which are controllable, and oil prices and exchange rates which are not. We expect 2001 production to be close to last year’s record level of 56 million barrels of oil equivalent, despite the lost production due to the incident at Moomba, and we are taking action on costs”.

I am particularly pleased with our exploration results in the first half. All of the business units have had exploration success. Key discoveries include the Otway gas finds, the continued Cooper Basin successes, the Runnells gas extension in the US and the recent Santos operated offshore Corowa oil discovery in Western Australia and Oyong oil and gas discovery in Indonesia.

Our second half exploration portfolio contains some promising prospects of a material nature.

We are off to a good start in implementing our strategy and after three months we are well into the program. Important management appointments have been made in exploration, drilling, supply, new ventures and cost base optimisation that will all contribute to achieving our strategic goals.”

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