December 15, 2022: Environment Centre Northern Territory (ECNT) has lodged formal complaints with ASIC and the ASX against gas giant Santos over potentially false and misleading statements it made about its Barossa gas project. [1] [2] 

“Santos has been speaking out of both sides of its mouth when it comes to its Barossa gas project,” ECNT Director Kirsty Howey said. 

“The company told the Federal Court in June that delaying drilling would cost the company hundreds of thousands of dollars a day. [3] 

“But then in November, when the Federal Court rejected its bid to restore a drilling licence, the company told the market that, despite a delay of months, there would be no materials cost impact and the project timetable would stay on track. Santos can’t have it both ways. [4] 

“Misleading markets is a very serious matter. We have referred these matters to the corporate watchdogs to ensure the company adheres to the high standards the public expects and the law demands. 

“Santos must be compelled to provide the market with full and frank disclosure of the expected impact of the Federal Court’s most recent decision on the Barossa project, so investors and the public are fully informed.” 

The Environment Defenders Office, Australia’s leading public interest environmental legal practice, is acting on ECNT’s behalf. 

Special Counsel Alina Leikin said: “Santos gave sworn evidence in the Federal Court, which was accepted by Justice Bromberg, about the significant cost, substantial risk of prejudicial impact on scheduled work and detriment to third parties resulting from a potential six-week delay.  

“Santos has now been delayed almost three months and who knows how long that delay will continue.” 


[1] Letter of Complaint – Environment Centre Northern Territory (ECNT) to the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC)

[2] Letter of Complaint – Environment Centre Northern Territory (ECNT) to the Australian Securities Exchange

[3] See page 3 of ECNT complaint letter to ASIC. 

[4] Full Federal Court decision for the Barossa gas project, 2-12-22, Santos  


EDO| James Tremain | 0419 272 254 | [email protected] 

ECNT | David Krantz | 0429 671 803 | [email protected] 


March 2022. NOPSEMA grants Santos a licence to drill in the ocean north of the Tiwi Islands. 

June 2022. Tiwi Senior Lawman Dennis Tipakalippa seeks judicial review of the licence. 

8 July 2022. During the judicial review, Mr Tipakalippa asked the court to order an “interlocutory injunction” to prevent drilling until the matter was heard.  

14 July 2022. The court dismisses the application for an interlocutory injunction, citing Santos’ evidence that any delay to drilling would cause “a daily loss in the order of hundreds of thousands of dollars” and prejudicially impact scheduled work on the project. 

17 July 2022.  Santos begins drilling.  

21 September 2022. The court rules Santos’s drilling licence is invalid and drilling ceases.  

2 December 2022. The Full Court dismisses Santos’ appeal against the court’s decision on 21 September 2022. Santos says it does not anticipate the decision will have “any material cost or schedule impact, and first gas from the Barossa Gas Project remains on track to be delivered in the first half of 2025.”