SUPPORTIVE: Santos chief executive Kevin Gallagher.
SUPPORTIVE: Santos chief executive Kevin Gallagher.

Santos CEO backs train decision on Curtis Island

SANTOS chief executive Kevin Gallagher has stood by the company's decision to build two LNG trains at Curtis Island, despite recent concerns it will be not be viable in the long-term.

Speaking at the Australian Petroleum Production & Exploration Association Conference in Brisbane this week, MrGallagher was supportive of the company's level of investment at the Curtis Island LNG plant.

In March, gas analyst EnergyQuest said within the next decade two of the six liquefaction trains at Curtis Island would shut down, with Santos' GLNG the most at risk.

The independent consultancy group said the three Curtis Island projects ran at 82 per cent capacity last year, and that could be "as good as it gets”.

It found GLNG operated at 52 per cent last year.

Mr Gallagher said the company's Curtis Island venture had been blamed for the tight east coast domestic gas market and Santos had been criticised for its decision to build the second train.

"Perhaps there is some truth in that proposition, but what I do know is that the Queensland coal seam gas fields would not have been developed in the absence of scale offered by the export market,” he said.

"It would simply have been uneconomic to do the exploration, sink the wells and establish the infrastructure for the relatively small east coast domestic market.”

Attendees of this year's conference were greeted by protesters who stood outside with signs and banners that said "no fracking”.