Energy Club

Northern Territory

Santos switches to solar

21 Dec 2018 1:55 PM | Sonia Harvey (Administrator)

ADELAIDE oiler Santos has received a grant from the Federal government-backed Australian Renewable Energy Agency to transition to 100% renewable energy for its oil well operations in the Cooper Basin as part of the Advancing Renewables Program. 

he project will convert all beam pumps at 56 sites to solar and batteries at a cost of A$16 million, with ARENA stumping up 25% of that.  

A single, pilot solar beam pump has been in operation since August and Santos says this expansion will provide "adequate scale to achieve supply chain and execution synergies and trial multiple vendors to reduce unit costs".  

Santos managing director Kevin Gallagher said the "Australian first" arose from an idea from the company's energy solutions team, which is "dedicated to finding innovative ways to prepare the business for a lower-carbon future".  

"The solar beam pump will reduce emissions and waste from oil production, saving 140 barrels of oil per day which is required to fuel the pumps, and instead will be sold for beneficial use," Gallagher said.  

"Our own consumption of fuel in the Cooper Basin is equivalent to about 5% of east coast domestic gas demand, so if we can extend our use of renewables to our gas operations, we can also free up more natural gas for sale, which is a good way to put downward pressure on gas prices. 

"The solar beam pump is also a perfect demonstration of Santos' strategy to become Australia's safest, lowest cost onshore operator in action."

He said renewables' use would also cut the costs of transporting fuel long distances by road to its remote well locations. 

Source: Energy News Bulletin

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