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Santos Limited today announced that the Mereenie Joint Venture parties had renewed the Mereenie Land Rights agreement with the Traditional Owners of the Mereenie gas field and adjacent areas, 250 kms west south-west of Alice Springs.The renewed Mereenie Agreement was signed today at a ceremony at the Kutpitjara School to the north of Mereenie.

The Agreement, under the NT Aboriginal Land Rights Act, covers future operations over the Mereenie oil and gas fields.

The Agreement was officially signed by the Central Land Council (CLC), representatives of the Traditional Owners of Mereenie and the adjacent areas and Santos and its joint venture partner, Magellan Petroleum Australia Limited.

The Agreement allows Santos to proceed with the operations at Mereenie while at the same time giving the Traditional Owners a number of benefits, said Santos’ Managing Director, Mr John Ellice-Flint.

In addition to a royalty payment, the community will also receive other benefits including opportunities for employment.

Santos particularly acknowledges the efforts of the CLC and Traditional Owners who worked diligently to achieve a speedy outcome. “We now look forward to working together to make sure the full benefits are realised.”