Photo: Barossa concept; Source: Santos

Eni and Santos to collaborate on projects in Australia and Timor-Leste

Italian oil and gas player Eni and Australian energy giant Santos have agreed to cooperate on projects in northern Australia and Timor-Leste.

Eni said on Monday that, through its subsidiary Eni Australia Limited, it had signed a non-binding Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Santos to jointly seek cooperation opportunities in three areas of interest.

The first area of interest is optimisations, synergies, and sharing of infrastructure between the Barossa Project and the Evans Shoal development, including the potential expansion of Darwin LNG and options to repurpose and extend the life of Bayu-Undan.

Santos Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Kevin Gallagher, said the MOU built on the momentum for the development of northern Australia following Santos’ FID announcement of the Barossa gas and condensate project and life extension for Darwin LNG for the next 20 years.

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It is worth reminding that Santos has recently completed the sell-down of a 25 per cent interest in Bayu-Undan and Darwin LNG to SK E&S.

The second area of collaboration between Eni and Santos is a potential joint development of CO2 capture and storage or utilization (CCUS) facilities, serving not only assets owned by the two companies but open to any interested third-party project in the Darwin area.

The long term objective of this is facilitating the creation of a CO2 management hub in the Northern Territory.

Gallagher also said: “Capturing and storing CO2 from industries in the Northern Territory will help it meet its net-zero emissions by 2050 target. That’s good for the environment, good for local jobs, good for local investment and good for regional development”.

The third area of interest is potential collaboration in new upstream development opportunities in relation to other offshore stranded resources located in northern Australia.

In northern Australia and Timor-Leste, Eni and Santos (operator) are already partners in the Bayu-Undan gas and condensate field and in the associated Darwin LNG plant and connecting gas pipeline.

In northern Australia, Eni is the operator of the Evans Shoal and Blacktip gas fields; Santos is the operator of the Caldita Barossa and Tern gas fields and has a participating interest in the Petrel gas field.

For Eni, this collaboration with Santos is an important step in the pathway to decarbonising upstream activity in Australia, leveraging both companies’ expertise with the aim of reducing CO2 emissions, the Italian company said.

Eni said that this agreement demonstrates the importance of adopting a synergistic approach that promotes cooperation between different players in the sector.

Eni has recently launched a new strategy, which will lead the company to be carbon neutral by 2050 in all its operations, processes and products.

In the long term, gas – which will be increasingly decarbonised – will represent more than 90 per cent of Eni’s production.

According to Eni, this memorandum sets the stage and is testimony to a mutual ambition to consolidate alliances for sustainable development, in order to tackle the energy transition challenge together, while protecting the environment and regenerating natural resources; a path undertaken by Eni since 2014.