Santos, Eni to Collaborate in Northern Australia, East Timor

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Australian Santos and Italian Eni have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) "to cooperate on opportunities in northern Australia and [East Timor]." The MOU suggests renewed progress in backfilling regional infrastructure -- arguably Australia's only path forward. The MOU follows closely a Santos final investment decision on the Barossa project, which will extend the life of the aging Darwin LNG plant beyond 2040 (LNGI Mar.30'21). The companies said that cooperation could include gas field infrastructure synergies "around Barossa and Evans Shoal, pipeline to Darwin and onshore associated gas processing leading to LNG expansion developments" (LNGI Apr.22'21). Cooperation could also include investigating options to repurpose the Bayu-Undan facilities "to extend the life of the project, including a carbon capture and storage [CCS] project, subject to the agreement of the [East Timor] government." "CCS opportunities at Bayu-Undan are extremely exciting for Santos and Eni," said Santos Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Kevin Gallagher. "We would like to be open for business to take your CO2," he said, noting that in 2019, the London Convention was amended to allow CO2 to be transported across jurisdictions to enable the establishment of storage hubs.

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