This is to advise that I have informed the Board of Santos Ltd that I intend to retire as Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer at the end of September 2000 at which time I will have completed nearly 16 years in that role. At the age of 55 I consider that this is an appropriate time to retire from my long term role.
Santos is in sound shape and recently announced a record profit and dividend for the year ended 31st December 1999 and the Company has advised that it expects the financial results for the 2000 year to significantly exceed the record result earned in 1999. The Cooper Basin business is well placed to compete in a deregulated gas market and Santos has a number strategic gas assets which are well positioned to supply gas into the East Coast gas markets in the medium term. These assets include a 20% interest in the Kipper gas field in the Bass Strait, a 25% interest in the Hides gas field in PNG, an approximate 12% interest in the Bayu-Undan gas and condensate field in the Zone of co-operation and more than a 95% interest in Petrel and Tern gas fields off the Northern Territory coast.
The Offshore Australia Business Unit now has a large strategic presence in the Carnarvon Basin and has a number of projects which will make a significant contribution to the ongoing growth of Santos. These include the Barrow Island and Thevenard Island oil fields recently acquired from Shell, the development of the Legendre oil field in the Carnarvon Basin commencing in June 2001, and the Bayu-Undan condensate stripping project in the Timor Sea commencing 2004.
While I will not be retiring for 6 months it is appropriate to record now my very significant enjoyment in the position, the great fondness which I have developed for living in Adelaide and my thanks for the very material contribution made by my colleagues and the staff of Santos.
N R ADLER Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer