Natural Gas

Santos has been active in the energy business for more than 50 years. We made our significant discovery of natural gas in the Cooper Basin in South Australia with the Gidgealpa-2 well in 1963.

The Moomba-1 discovery in 1966 confirmed this region as a major petroleum province. Natural gas supplies to South Australia commenced in 1969. Since then Santos has searched for natural gas across onshore and offshore Australia and is a major producer of natural gas in South Australia, Victoria, Queensland, Northern Territory and Western Australia.

Santos exports natural gas to Asia via its LNG facilities in Queensland and the Northern Territory.

Santos also has interests in natural gas export from Papua New Guinea. Santos is one of Australia’s largest natural gas developers and is proudly Australian owned.

Where is natural gas found?

Australia has 17 significant production locations for natural gas and oil, and enough natural gas reserves to power a city of one million people for 16,000 years.

Australian natural gas reserves


Methane is the main ingredient of natural gas and can be found both in coal seams between 400 and 1,000 metres below the surface, and in sandstone and shale layers that lie up to four kilometres underground. It’s a naturally occurring and abundant resource formed over millions of years through the decomposition and compression of prehistoric animal and plant matter.

Methane is extracted by securely drilling into seams of coal, sandstone or shale.

Different techniques can be used – including horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracture stimulation – or ‘fracking’ – to ensure that the natural gas flows freely and can be obtained efficiently.


Geology of natural gas