Water: A most precious resource

Santos recognises water is a precious resource, especially given our long history of working in some of the driest parts of the world such as the Cooper Basin and Central Australia.

We work with scientific organisations to ensure that we conduct the research and assessments required to understand how our activities may affect water resources and how risks can be monitored and managed.

We have a sustainable approach to managing our water use and the produced water from our operations.

We are excited about initiatives to beneficially reuse produced water across our operations, as well as make water available to landholders.

Santos GLNG beneficially reuses 100% of produced formation water associated with gas production to irrigate hardwood plantations and fodder crops for cattle grazing.


Transparent reporting

We believe in transparently reporting our emissions to air, land and water as well as our climate change strategy, governance, risks and metrics and targets in line with the recommendations of the G20 Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD).

All is reported in our 2019 Climate Change Report, and our Sustainability Performance Data, which also includes information on waste, incidents and spills.

In addition, we also transparently report of use and production of water, recognising community concerns about the risk of impact to water resources from gas production activities.

Monitoring data for our operations in Eastern Queensland and New South Wales is publicly available through the Santos Water Portal.

The Queensland Government also publishes cumulative groundwater monitoring results available on Queensland Globe.

The Queensland Water Act 2000 requires petroleum tenure holders to produce an Underground Water Impact Report (UWIR). A UWIR assesses the potential impacts of water extraction by a petroleum tenure holder on groundwater resources and specifies integrated management and monitoring arrangements.

In accordance with Section 381 & 382 of the Queensland Water Act 2000, Santos Limited notifies that an updated UWIR has been developed for its conventional oil and gas operations in the Cooper Basin, South West Queensland.

On the 14 March 2017, the Queensland Department of Environment and Heritage (DEHP) approved the updated UWIR with conditions. View a copy of the approval here

As per Section 386 of the Water Act 2000, a notice relating to the approval of the UWIR can be viewed here.

In accordance with the requirements of Section 382 of the Queensland Water Act 2000, the Office of Groundwater Impact Assessment (OGIA) gave notice that the 2016 Underground Water Impact Report for the Surat Cumulative Management Area (the report) was approved by the Chief Executive of the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection.

The approved report took effect from 19 September 2016. View a copy of the report here

As per Section 386 of the Water Act 2000, a notice relating to the approval of the UWIR can be viewed here. 


Our unique landscape

Santos operates in diverse locations which have unique biodiversity and land features and we are focused on reducing environmental impacts.

We have strong processes in place to identify biodiversity and land values and mitigate potential risks.

We support many environmental conservation programs, including investing nearly $1.2 million with the Nature Foundation of South Australia to buy land and establish the Witchelina Nature Reserve covering 4,200 square kilometres.


Cleaner air, home and abroad

Natural gas is key to both meeting the growing energy needs of Australia and Asia, and reducing greenhouse emissions and improving air quality in our region.

When used to generate electricity, natural gas reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 50%-60%, carbon monoxide by 90% and nitrogen oxides by 80% compared to burning coal. Further, natural gas produces only negligible amounts of sulphur dioxide and particulates.

In China, LNG exports are being credited with cutting air pollution to the lowest levels in a decade across Beijing and the north. The Chinese government continues to mandate the switch from coal to gas-fired electricity.

Here in Australia, we work with scientific organisations to research and understand how our activities may affect air quality and how risks can be monitored and managed.

The Gas Industry Social and Environmental Research Alliance (GISERA) has undertaken the first comprehensive assessment of air quality in the natural gas production areas of the Surat Basin region in Queensland, finding good air quality in the area.

Air quality monitoring results from the natural gas producing regions of the Surat Basin are made publically available by the Queensland Government Department of Environment and Science.