Santos partners with Natural Soda for gas project

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In an Australian first, Santos has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Natural Soda to use salt removed from produced water as part of the Narrabri Gas Project.

The two companies have been working together for more than 12 months on a commercially viable model that could create a new sodium bicarbonate industry for Narrabri and Australia, bringing more local jobs to the region. Sodium bicarbonate is commonly known as baking soda.

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Santos managing director and chief executive officer Kevin Gallagher said the MOU is a commitment from both Santos and Natural Soda to complete a concept study that will inform a Final Investment Decision to produce sodium bicarbonate in Narrabri.

“Australia doesn’t have a bicarbonate industry, so we import it for use in food, pharmaceuticals and a wide range of industrial uses. These are the benefits that would come from the Narrabri Gas Project – new industries, more jobs, business opportunities and regional development,” Mr Gallagher said.

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“The partnership with Natural Soda demonstrates how our industry continues to evolve and explore new ways of beneficial use for products that previously would have been considered waste.

“The water Santos extracts is of no use to farmers because of the salt content, so we treat the water to a very high standard that is suitable for irrigation, stock watering and other purposes. The salt removed from the water is a natural product and, if our concept study is successful, could be converted into valuable sodium bicarbonate.”

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