December 18 (Renewables Now) - Australian oil and gas group Santos (ASX:STO) today unveils plans for a solar and energy storage rollout in a major push to cut its production emissions and supply some of its oil well operations with renewables only.
The company said it has received an AUD-4.2-million (USD 3m/EUR 2.7m) grant for its project to convert 56 of its remote crude oil beam pumps in South Australia’s Copper Basin and Queensland to solar with battery storage capacity. The total cost of the project is estimated at over AUD 16 million.
Santos has already installed a pilot solar beam pump that has been operating since August. Depending on the success on the latest rollout, the oil and gas company plans to convert all of its 208 pumps across the Cooper Basin to solar and batteries from crude oil. Santos estimates that the use of solar will save it 140 barrels of oil per day needed to fuel the pumps and will eventually lower production costs as fuel transportation costs will be eliminated.
“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,” said Santos’ CEO and managing director Kevin Gallagher.
(AUD 1.0 = USD 0.720/EUR 0.632)