Landholders within our proposed Project area have been contacted by our team and receive regular updates from us.
We will only drill on private land if the landholder is happy to host our operations.
If a landholder is keen to work with Santos, a land access agreement will be negotiated and compensation arrangements put in place.
A Farm Management Plan will also be developed to coordinate activities and minimise impact on landholder’s business productivity and lifestyle. Natural gas extraction can co-exist with other land uses such as agriculture because of the relatively small amount of land used. There is also some flexibility with where activities can be situated on a property; allowing our operations to work in harmony with the landholder’s agricultural business.
Landholders involved in our exploration program will be compensated for the value of the land being utilised by our operations and will receive an annual fee for this service. When the Narrabri Gas Project reaches production, landholders will share in a compensation pool, with income proportionate to the amount of their land being utilised and the performance of the field.
We have been very clear that we will only drill on private land with the agreement of the landholder. We have signed the Agreed Principles of Land Access with NSW Farmers, Cotton Australia, the NSW Irrigators Council, the Country Women’s Association (NSW), Dairy Connect and fellow energy company AGL, which reinforces this commitment.
The Gomeroi People’s Native Title claim covers the parts of the Pilliga in which we are seeking to work. We meet regularly with the Gomeroi registered claimants and are working towards an agreement with them. We meet regularly with the Local Area Land Councils included in the project area and Aboriginal parties have been involved in the cultural heritage work needed for the Project’s Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). We will work with the Aboriginal community to put initiatives in place that will allow them to benefit from our work in the Narrabri area.
About one hectare of cleared area is required when drilling a well, so that the necessary equipment can be put in place. When drilling is complete, we begin to reduce the cleared area around each well and rehabilitate surplus access tracks.
When a well is no longer producing gas it is decommissioned. The surface wellhead and equipment is removed and the well is completely sealed with pressure-tested cement plugs from top to bottom. The cement used is formulated to be stronger than the layers of rock it passes through and is designed not to degrade over time to ensure underground formations remain isolated. The site is then completely rehabilitated and the land can be returned to its previous use.
Over the life of the Project, we will progressively rehabilitate areas as wells come on and off line, to minimise the total area cleared at any one time.