Questions Answered on what is happening in the Pilliga

When will Santos start clearing?

This is the question. We believe that all management plans (click on post-approval) need to have been approved before Santos can begin to clear. It is a possibility that Santos may begin clearing before years end for seismic surveys (length and location to be determined).

The pink lines are indicative seismic lines • Image from the Santos Staging Request letter

When will they bring a drill rig to drill new wells?

Santos may bring a rig into the forest before years end if all management plans in place.

The Phase 1 scope is planned to include the construction and operation of:

  • 4 coreholes;
  • 6 pilot wells;
  • 1 deep reservoir monitoring bore (converted corehole);
  • new shallow water monitoring bores;
  • associated linear infrastructure;
  • seismic surveys (length and location to be determined); and
  • continued operation of Santos’ existing exploration and appraisal activities.

Phase One may not be limited to the above.

What are they doing now?

Santos are getting the field ready, new comms/telemetry towers, fencing and equipment upgrades have been spotted as well new remediation work using a type of rig known as a Flushby Rig to enhance production and perform other remedial tasks aimed at increasing gas supply. Some of the wells being worked on are wells that underwent workover in late 2020. An application has been made to renew Pal 2. Flaring is occurring at Bibblewindi.

What will they do next?

Santos continue to lodge management plans with NSW Planning and have formed Advisory Groups. They have managed to convince NSW Planning to let them off in regards to the Salt Management Plan. The Conditions of Consent stated Condition B69:

The Salt Management Plan will not be needed for Phase 1 according to the Field Development Protocol. The Waste Management Plan states:

6.5.2 Salt

…There is no salt proposed to be produced for Phase 1 of the Project, therefore this Plan does not consider the management of salt. Management of salt will be described in the Salt Management Plan and subsequent revisions of this Plan following completion of the Produced Salt Beneficial Reuse and Disposal Study required by condition B69. Part of this study includes the demonstration that operators of waste facilities can lawfully accept, and will permit, the volume and composition of salt waste produced by the development for disposal at their premises.

The Field Development, Water Management, Noise and Rehabilitation Management Plans are still outstanding along with the Environmental Management Strategy (D1 & D2).

Conditions of Consent state:

What can you do?

Get in touch and get involved in GasWatch. Read the Management Plans. Advice on what to do and see is available! Subscribe to our newsletter to stay up to date. Share this Update with your friends. Read our Media Release. Read more about the Narrabri Gas Project. The forest needs you in it!

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