Santos shareholders reject calls to ditch Narrabri CSG project

Santos shareholders have voted to keep working on the company’s Narrabri CSG project, rejecting a resolution which would have seen the company walk away from the $1 billion operation.

161 Santos shareholders representing a 0.0475 per cent stake in the company forwarded the resolution in March.

They told the ASX the controversial Narrabri CSG project “threatens Santos’ reputation and makes our company look like a rogue operator.”

“We move that the Narrabri Gas Project in North West NSW be withdrawn from Santos' portfolio.”

Santos quickly moved to advise the rest of its shareholders to reject the proposal, adding the requisition request had been promoted by The Wilderness Society  “as part of its anti-fossil fuels campaign”.

At the company’s annual general meeting on Friday, 99.26 per cent of shares voted for Santos to carry on its work in the Pilliga State Forest where Santos plans to drill 15 exploration wells and start existing pilots.

The project has been at the centre of protests from the local community who claim gas exploration will cause environmental harm.

Santos was fined $1500 by the Environmental Protection Authority after the contamination of an aquifer in the Pilliga Forest which led to elevated uranium, lead, aluminium, arsenic, barium, boron and nickel levels.

Santos says the leak of CSG wastewater was small, localised and contained and did not pose a threat to either humans or animals.

Around 35 protesters gathered at the front of the Adelaide Convention Centre before the meeting holdings signs which read: "No Fracking Way" and "No Gas Fields".

The Australian reports the motion to suspend CSG work at Narrabri was debated for two hours of the four hour AGM, giving those against the project ample time for their objects to be heard.

Santos chairman Ken Borda said CSG development "must be progressed as a priority".

Borda said the company would continue to engage with communities near its operation.

“We believe that we can overcome these challenges and continue to be successful in both operating the assets we manage today, as well as in establishing new projects,” he said.

Chief executive David Knox said gas from coal seams was "unquestionably part of our way of life," as 30 per cent of east coast gas supply is now met by CSG gas.

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