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Natural gas: Australia’s natural energy source

Natural gas is an abundant, reliable and low-cost energy source that has been used in Australia for over 100 years. It is a base material in many everyday items including medicines, electronics and clothing.

In Australia, natural gas is an abundant, reliable and low-cost energy source. It forms naturally and has been trapped in rock formations deep underground for millions of years.

Natural gas is odourless and colourless and made up of mainly methane. It is found in different types of rocks, including sandstone, coal seams and shale, and has been used in Australia for over 100 years. We have enough natural gas to power our nation for hundreds of years into the future.

Once extracted, natural gas is used for power generation, cooking, heating, hot water, and powering appliances and vehicles.

In Australia, seven in ten homes use natural gas. And, it is also a key ingredient in the making of many everyday materials used to build our homes and appliances, including plastics, paint and fabrics. Our homes, schools, hospitals and sports stadiums were all built using natural gas.

Did you know?

Cooking with natural gas
Cooking with natural gas costs approximately half as much as cooking with electricity. Gas cookers are efficient, quick to heat, and adjusting the temperature is easy and instantaneous.

Heating and cooling with natural gas
Natural gas air conditioners are energy efficient, require less maintenance and have lower ongoing costs than other cooling methods. Hot water systems using natural gas are also fast and economical.

Powering appliances with natural gas
Many appliances around your home can be powered safely and efficiently by natural gas. Think barbecues, outdoor lights and heaters, tumble dryers, fireplaces and pool heaters.

How Santos natural gas powers Australia

Santos natural gas powers a range of industries across Australia. This includes manufacturers of products such as glass, paper and packaging, bricks and pavers, cement and concrete mixes, plastics (including milk bottles, shade cloth and food packaging) and fertiliser, as well as mining and resources. In addition to being used to create energy, natural gas is a feed ingredient for many products we use each and every day.

For more than 65 years, Santos has worked in partnership with local communities, landholders and marine users to safely and sustainably explore and develop natural gas and oil resources.

Today, we proudly continue to deliver the economic and environmental benefits of natural gas to homes and businesses throughout Australia and Asia.

Santos is Australia’s largest domestic supplier. In 2019, we provided 20% of Australian domestic gas supply.

From providing jobs and supporting local manufacturers to heating your home and firing up your barbecue, Santos’ natural gas is part of Australia.

The benefits of natural gas

Australia’s natural gas is playing a significant role in delivering a lower-carbon future. It’s enabling the growth of renewable energy sources by providing reliability and flexibility to deliver cleaner power 24/7, even when the sun doesn’t shine, and the wind doesn’t blow.

As countries around the world make the switch from coal to gas, natural gas is expected to supply 25% of global energy demand by 2040.

Our liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports to Asia are an essential part of the global climate solution. For every tonne of carbon dioxide (CO2) emitted during production in Australia, LNG saves between three and ten tonnes of emissions when it replaces coal in power generation in Asia.

Natural gas also supports local communities and economies. Across our operations, we work to partner with communities so they too can benefit from the development of natural gas resources. This can be through jobs, provision of materials and services, infrastructure and more.

How we work

Santos is committed to preventing harm to the environment and protecting the unique biodiversity and land features in the varied locations where we operate. We responsibly manage our environmental impact and work in partnership with local communities.


Natural gas is generally found in rock formations 300 metres to four kilometres beneath the earth’s surface. It is extracted by safely and securely drilling into these formations and constructing a well. The drilling is stopped at regular intervals so that purpose-built, steel pipe casings and cement can be installed to form a barrier. This barrier maintains integrity between the resource-bearing rock formations and any overlying aquifers.


Natural gas fields are close to the mainland as well as hundreds of kilometres offshore in deep water. To extract gas found offshore, a well is drilled to safely and securely access the resource. Much like onshore wells, protective casings are installed to maintain integrity between subsurface layers.

Santos’ natural gas operations

Santos’ operations are based around five core assets: Western Australia, the Cooper Basin, Queensland and New South Wales, Northern Australia and Timor-Leste, and Papua New Guinea.

Across these assets, we operate numerous plants, facilities and pipelines critical to delivering natural gas products to customers.

Santos has a long history of powering Australia - our Moomba plant in the Cooper Basin has been delivering natural gas to homes and businesses for over 50 years.

We are now Australia’s biggest domestic gas supplier, providing gas to all Australian states and territories.

Santos is focussed on being the safest, most reliable and lowest cost developer and operator in Australia and this is reflected in everything we do.