As part a normal judicial discovery process, Santos has today produced 214 documents to the NSW Environmental Defenders Office (EDO NSW).
In September 2014, the Land and Environment Court agreed with Santos that a limited range of documents relating to the water bore of local Narrabri landholder, Mr Tony Pickard, be provided by Friday October 31 to the EDO NSW.
Mr Pickard has alleged his bore was contaminated by natural gas operations carried out on a neighbouring property by Eastern Star Gas, a company acquired by Santos in November 2011. Santos is confident that there is no connection between these operations and the bacteria identified in Mr Pickard’s bore.
The documents released today support Santos’ position and show there is no scientific proof to support Mr Pickard’s allegations. Many of the documents supplied have already been released by Santos.
The unreasonable approach of the EDO in initially requesting a broad range of documents, many unrelated to Mr Pickard’s bore and with no relation to the allegations made against Santos, delayed supply of the documents.
Santos has always been open and transparent with the local community and the Government.
Immediately following the acquisition of Eastern Star Gas, Santos conducted a comprehensive review of Eastern Star Gas operations and made it clear that the operational practices in place were not up to the standards the community was entitled to expect. Further, the operations did not meet Santos standards. The operations were shut down and Santos undertook a $17million program to upgrade operations and rehabilitate sites in and around the Pilliga. This rehabilitation program is complete and was conducted with oversight by the Office of Coal Seam Gas.
Most of the documents supplied to the EDO NSW today relate to the facilities which have been decommissioned and removed as part of the rehabilitation program.
We will continue to safely and responsibly develop our natural gas resources in the Narrabri area which could provide up to half of NSW’s natural gas needs and deliver substantial economic benefits to the region.