Conditions of approval for the Narrabri Gas Project state that construction activities for production wells and related infrastructure cannot commence until a pipeline is approved, and Santos can’t start gas production until a pipeline is commissioned.
Two pipelines were proposed to transport gas out of North West NSW. APA’s Western Slopes Pipeline (WSP) and the Queensland Hunter Gas Pipeline (HGP) but in August 2022 Santos acquired (HGP). Both pipeline routes have not been fully surveyed and local opposition will continue to make this very difficult.
Landholders object to pipelines because
- land clearing for a pipeline is 30 metres wide
- pipelines divide productive farming properties, disrupt management practices, limit farming activities and add huge costs to farmers
- some soils, once disturbed, subside or become boggy during rain where pipelines are laid – a danger for both stock and machinery.
- if a pipeline is laid, gas extraction will expand along the route of the pipeline through prime agricultural land
- the pipeline company’s contractors must be able to access the pipeline at any time
- contractors vehicles spread weeds
- pipelines and compressors leak methane gas, a highly flammable greenhouse gas with no smell
Factors that could prevent the construction of the pipeline include:
- pending various native title and environmental management plans are not approved
- the rapid transition to renewable energy sources
- the Port Kembla Gas Import Terminal is built