No reliance on deadline

SANTOS is not relying on an October 11 deadline for GLNG environmental approvals, a Santos spokesman has told The Observer.

This came after The Observer reported that federal environmental approval of liquefied natural gas (LNG) plants on Curtis Island would stay on schedule.

“I’m intending to keep to previous timetables,” Environment Minister Tony Burke said on Thursday.

In response to Mr Burke’s comments a spokesman for Santos said they realised there was a lot of detail for the new minister to get through.

“We weren’t to harp on the October 11 deadline,” the spokesman said.

“I think that is more of an indicative timeframe.

“Our point is if the indicative timeframe is October, we never had any indication of a change from that,” he said.

Santos is planning to make the final investment decision on its GLNG project in December.

Analysts have speculated that if the federal approval process slipped beyond October, Santos’s target of a GLNG Train 1 final investment decision by the end of 2010 could be in jeopardy.

However, Santos has told The Observer that they “don’t need to sell anymore gas to approve the first train”.

“Santos has binding off-take agreements now that sell 5mtpa of LNG from the Gladstone project and that’s enough to underpin the two-train project and should enable us to approve the first train by December this year,” the spokesman said.

Meanwhile reports are speculating that the expected deal between Korea Gas Corporation (KOGAS) and Santos becoming a 10% investor could be in jeopardy because South Korean government approval has taken longer than expected.

“Negotiations with Korea Gas remains subject to approvals and there can’t be any certainties that those approvals will be granted,” the Santos spokesman said.



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