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Update - Gas Supplies from Moomba Plant

Santos Limited reports that overnight it successfully completed the first stage of recommencing gas supply from Moomba with supplies currently over 120 terajoules per day (TJ/d) from processed gas stored underground at Moomba.

The second stage has now commenced, focussed on gas sourced from nearby gas fields and processed through those sections of the plant unaffected by the incident.

This second stage, which is targeted to be completed within the next 24 hours, will allow gas supplies from Moomba to increase to an average of around 150 TJ/d.

Successful completion of the second stage in the supply of gas from Moomba is expected to bring gas demand and supply in New South Wales and South Australia closer to balance, subject to weather.

Santos Managing Director, Mr John Ellice-Flint, said the assessment process would continue over the next seven to 10 days.

“We will then be in a position to more accurately forecast the number of weeks required for the interim production process to further increase gas supplies to around 400 TJ/d while the Moomba plant is repaired,” he said.

Mr Ellice-Flint said initial investigation of the incident pointed towards an unforseen failure of a heat exchanger inlet nozzle as the source of the gas release.

“A detailed technical investigation is still in progress and the results will not be known for some time,” he said.

“Part of the brief for the incident investigation team is to review the response to the incident. Our initial assessment is that the emergency response plan was well executed and that the site personnel did an outstanding job.”

Ongoing incident and damage assessment activities continue to focus on the electrical supply, instrumentation and major process equipment such as piping, pumps and vessels. A clear picture of the extent of the damage to the plant is expected to be available by next week.

Whilst every effort is being made to further increase gas supplies as quickly as possible, no action will be taken which compromises the safety of personnel on site.

The investigation into the incident is being jointly conducted by the SA Governments Workplace Services Department and Santos. This is expected to take some time to complete.