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Summary

Santos Supports Its Northern Australian Gas Strategy Through The Acquisition Of Natural Gas Australia

Santos Limited is pleased to announce that Natural Gas Australia Limited today received approval from the Supreme Court of Victoria to complete the Schemes of Arrangement previously announced on 9 April 2001, which will result in NGA becoming a wholly-owned subsidiary of Santos.

On the Schemes becoming effective tomorrow, Santos will acquire 100% of NGA which has a 40% interest in the substantial Evans Shoal gas field (NT/P48) in the eastern Timor Sea. This acquisition will broaden Santos’ interests from two to three of the four major gas fields in the greater Timor Sea region.

The Managing Director of Santos, Mr John Ellice-Flint, said “This acquisition is highly strategic for Santos, given the potential for a world class 20TCF gas project and the benefits such a project would have for Australia and East Timor.”

Shares and listed options in NGA will cease trading at the close of business of the Australian Stock Exchange tomorrow and trading in new Santos shares will commence on Wednesday 18 July 2001 on a deferred settlement basis.

The Record Date for determining the eligibility of holders of NGA shares and options to participate in the Schemes is 24 July 2001. The Implementation Date, when Santos shares will be allotted to holders of NGA shares and options, is 31 July 2001.

NGA shares will convert to Santos shares at a ratio of 6.393 Santos shares for every 100 NGA shares held. NGA listed options and executive options will convert to Santos shares at a ratio of 2.822 Santos shares for every 100 NGA listed options and executive options held. Holders of NGA listed options and executive options who wish to participate in the share Scheme will be required to exercise their options by the Record Date.