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Toowoomba has been selected by oil and gas explorer Santos as the site to assemble a new fully-automated drilling rig.

The PDI 724 rig will be assembled in the Toowoomba Rigging Services local yard by Precision Drilling International. The assembling process is expected to take approximately 3 weeks and inject several hundred thousand dollars into the Toowoomba economy.

The rig is an automated drilling rig designed to drill wells to depths of approximately 3,000 metres. Santos expects to drill approximately 60 oil wells per year with the new rig.

Once assembled, the rig will be transported by road to Santos’ operations in south west Queensland to work in the Eromanga area drilling for oil.

The Federal Minister for Industry, Tourism and Resources, the Hon Ian Macfarlane and Santos Managing Director, John Ellice-Flint will visit the rigging yard on Saturday afternoon (11th February 2006).

Time: 2 pm
Date: 11 February 2006
Place: Toowoomba Rigging Services
Corner MacDougall Road and Hursley Street, Toowoomba.

Media are welcome to attend.

For further information please call:
Lisa Chalk, Media Adviser to Minister Macfarlane 0407 573 912
Kathryn Mitchell, Santos Media Adviser 0407 979 982

Santos stock symbols: STO (Australian Stock Exchange), STOSY (NASDAQ ADR), Ref #82-34 (Securities Exchange Commission)