Santos is the leading Australian oil and gas exploration and production company in the Northern Territory, with a significant presence both onshore and offshore. The company’s partnership with the NT stretches back many years, having been the major supplier of gas to the local market and as the only Australian company in Darwin LNG. Santos has a large discovered resource base across Northern Australia that is well positioned to backfill and expand the existing LNG infrastructure.
Located at Wickham Point, Darwin LNG is a single train liquefaction and storage facility that started production in 2006. The Bayu-Undan facility, which supplies gas to the plant via a 26-inch subsea pipeline, is located approximately 500 kilometres north-west of Darwin in Timor-Leste offshore waters. The facility includes a central production and processing complex with a Floating Production Storage and Offloading vessel for condensate and LPG products and an unmanned wellhead platform. Santos operates both the Darwin LNG plant and Bayu-Undan facility.
The Barossa gas field is 300 kilometres north of Darwin and will be the source of gas to backfill Darwin LNG when Bayu-Undan ceases production. Barossa entered FEED in April 2018.
The Petrel, Tern and Frigate gas fields are located 250 kilometres west of Darwin, in the Bonaparte Basin, and are well positioned to feed into either domestic or export markets.
Santos also has a significant exploration position in offshore Northern Australia, adjacent to Barossa and the Petrel, Tern and Frigate fields.
Onshore, the company is focussed on further exploring and appraising the McArthur Basin in the Northern Territory, a multi-tcf prospective resource similar to US shale plays. In 2019, Santos conducted a successful four stage fracture stimulation of the Velkerri shale gas play in the Tanumbirini-1 well, drilled in 2014. Subsequent production testing gas flow rates were above initial expectations for the vertical well.
Santos is also exploring in the Amadeus Basin, south of Alice Springs, and, in 2019, the company farmed-in to exploration permits in the South Nicholson Basin, providing multi-tcf exposure to two shale gas plays analogous to the McArthur Basin shale gas plays.