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Santos celebrates 70th anniversary

Since its inception in 1954, the South Australia Northern Territory Oil Search (Santos) has been safely and sustainably developing resources first across Australia, then the Asia Pacific and is now a global energy company.

The first breakthrough was in 1963, when Santos pioneers discovered natural gas in the Gidgealpa 2 well, located in the Cooper Basin region.

Later in 1966, the Moomba 1 site confirmed this region as a major petroleum province.

The Moomba 1 discovery in 1966 confirmed this region as a major petroleum province. Image supplied by Santos.

As a result of these discoveries, Santos had a commercially viable quantity of gas which enabled sales agreements with the South Australian Gas Company, the Electricity Trust of South Australia and the Australian Gas Light Company in 1969.

The 1980s saw Santos develop a major liquids business following the discovery of oil at Tirrawarra in central Australia in the early 1970s.

A liquids recovery plant was built at Moomba, South Australia along with a fractionation and load-out facility at Port Bonython.

It is Santos’ 70th anniversary, a huge milestone for the company. Image supplied by Santos.

A number of acquisitions in the 1990s provided Santos with additional opportunities onshore and offshore Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam and Papua New Guinea.

By the 1990s, Santos had become a major Australian operating enterprise with interests in United States and United Kingdom petroleum provinces and in emerging areas such as the Timor Sea and Western Australia.

In 2011, the Santos GLNG project was sanctioned. First production of LNG was announced on 24 September 2015.

For 70 years, Santos has been providing jobs and business opportunities, safely developing natural gas resources and from there powering industries and households. Image supplied by Santos.

The first shipment of LNG left Curtis Island on 16 October 2015 and was delivered in South Korea on 28 October 2015.

2019 marked 50 years since the first gas from Santos’ operations in the Cooper Basin made its way to homes and businesses in Adelaide.

In 2021, Santos completed a merger with Oil Search Limited, combining two industry leaders and enhancing the company’s growth portfolio and Papua New Guinea operating business.

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