Gas activists line up Pilliga push
A fresh round of environmental fighting could kick off over Santos’ plan to produce coal seam gas (CSG) in the Pilliga State Forest.
Santos has delivered a 7,000 page Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to the NSW Government for the next stage of works to develop the major gas field, hoping to add to the smaller exploration wells and array of pipelines and water treatment facilities that have already been constructed.
But reports say a coalition of community groups is preparing to fight back, saying the gas project presents an unnecessary threat to farmlands and significant environmental sites.
Santos says the Narrabri Project will create hundreds of regional jobs, producing a total yield of around 1,400 petajoules over the next 20 years.
To do this, the company will drill up to 850 production wells to access gas between 500 and 1,200 metres underground, as well as new access roads and pipelines across the 95,000 hectares of farms and forests, and a new pipeline to connect to the east coast gas network.
Santos has reportedly spent over $2 billion developing the lease so far.
Anti-gas campaigners recognise it as a crucial point, and hope that if they can prevent this project from going ahead, it may deal a death blow to the onshore CSG industry in NSW.
The ABC has spoken to Santos representatives, independent experts and environmental groups about the matter.