Santos to Fight Lawsuit by Indigenous Group to Halt Barossa Pipeline Work

(Reuters) — Australia's Santos said on Tuesday it would defend against the legal proceedings brought by the Environmental Defenders Office (EDO) to halt the commencement of pipeline work at its Barossa gas project off northern Australia.

The EDO, a legal service and a non-government, not-for-profit organization, started the case on behalf of an indigenous group for injunction to prevent Santos from commencing the pipeline work while the case is being heard.

Last week, six indigenous elders on the Tiwi Islands urged Environment Minister Tanya Plibersek to make a declaration to protect their heritage, which they said was at immediate risk of desecration from the construction.

"Santos rejects the allegations in the application that there are significant environmental impacts or risks in relation to submerged Tiwi cultural heritage," Australia's No. 2 independent gas producer said.

According to information on EDO website, the traditional owner will argue that Santos has not properly assessed risks to cultural heritage along the route of its Barossa export pipeline, which runs within seven kilometres of Cape Fourcroy on Bathurst Island.

Recently, Santos retained its target to start production at Barossa in the first half of 2025 and within the current cost estimate.

Drilling at the project has been suspended since September 2022 after a judge found that an environmental approval was invalid due to failures in properly consulting the traditional landowners.

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