Santos has committed to a $100 million drilling and appraisal program over the next 12 months in the onshore Mereenie field in the Northern Territory.
The Mereenie appraisal and development drilling program will target oil while also evaluating natural gas resources. If successful, Santos will consider a further drilling program.
Santos has operated Mereenie, 250 kilometres west of Alice Springs in the Amadeus Basin, since 1993. The field has produced more than 16 million barrels of oil and condensate and over 240 billion cubic feet of sales gas since 1984.
Santos Mereenie Asset Manager Mark Buckland said there are enough oil and natural gas reserves to extend the life of the Mereenie field well beyond 2030.
“The safe and sustainable development of this project has the potential to deliver economic benefits through jobs, revenue and royalties for many years,” Mr Buckland said.
The project will see the installation of a new camp and the creation of employment opportunities for local people.
“Santos is committed to achieving mutually beneficial relationships with the communities in which we operate,” Mr Buckland said.
“This project is only in its early stages but already we have provided work to Aboriginal people and we will continue to work with the Central Land Council to provide more employment opportunities.”
The commitment to the Mereenie appraisal and development drilling program is the latest in a recent series of investments by Santos in onshore interests in the Northern Territory.
In October last year, Santos announced a farm-in agreement with Central Petroleum over 13 permits in the Amadeus and Pedirka Basins. In December, the company struck a farm-in agreement with Tamboran Resources over four permits in the McArthur Basin.