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Santos Narrabri gas project final hurdle looms as Minister sets timeline for IPC determination
Kate Schwager

Santos Narrabri gas project final hurdle looms as Minister sets timeline for IPC determination


The fate of a controversial coal seam gas project in north-west New South Wales will be decided within 12 weeks.

Santos's Narrabri Gas Project has received backing from the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment, recommending its "approval with strict conditions".

After three years of consideration, the department has referred the multi-billion-dollar project to the state's Independent Planning Commission, and Minister Rob Stokes has requested a determination within 12 weeks.

More than 23,000 submissions were made to the department during its assessment.

A public hearing will be held as part of the IPC's deliberations.

Santos is seeking approval to drill 850 coal-seam gas wells across 1,000 hectares south-west of Narrabri.

In its report, the department said up to 200 terajoules of gas would be produced for the domestic gas market each day for at least 20 years, "which is enough to supply up to 50 per cent of NSW's gas demand".

"It is classified as a strategic energy project and has a capital investment value of $3.6 billion and would create 1,300 jobs during construction and 200 jobs during operations."

The department concluded the project "is critical for energy security and reliability in NSW" and could "provide essential gas supplies to the domestic market to address forecast shortfalls from 2024".

It also acknowledged the economic boost of up to $14.5 million to the Narrabri Shire Council.


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