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Santos gets NSW government nod for $3.6b CSG project
Kate Schwager

Santos gets NSW government nod for $3.6b CSG project

Sydney Morning Herald

The Berejiklian government has given its support for the proposed $3.6 billion Santos coal seam gasfield in northern NSW, saying it was critical for energy security and that it had limited environmental impacts.

In its assessment released on Friday, the Planning Department said its "comprehensive suite of strict conditions" would ensure the controversial project was "in the public interest and is approvable".

The 850-well project would extend over 1000 hectares of the Pilliga State Forest and adjoining grazing land, and could produce up to 200 terajoules a day - or about half of NSW's demand - for about 20 years.

The project "would not result in any significant impacts on people or the environment," Planning concluded, despite noting it would need to dispose of as much as 840,000 tonnes of salt to be extracted. The approval comes despite the department having no assurances of how and where the salt will go.

The department concluded the gasfield would provide "essential" supplies and help meet a forecast gas shortfall from 2024. It would support the transition away from coal in the electricity grid.

Conditions designed to minimise effects on the Great Artesian Basin include a cap on total extraction of water at 37.5 billion litres over the project's life. That would average out at four million litres a day.


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