Kevin Gallagher’s Santos sacks 200 workers ‘mainly’ based in Perth

Adrian Rauso
The Nightly
2 Min Read
Santos chief executive Kevin Gallagher.
Santos chief executive Kevin Gallagher. Credit: Supplied by Macquarie/DSC_7348.jpg-74688639

Santos is giving the boot to about 200 employees — most of them based in Perth — and has pinned the blame on slow project approvals.

In a statement on Wednesday, Santos said a detailed review of its WA, Northern Territory and Timor-Leste business unit was undertaken over recent months to ensure its workforce is “aligned to the company’s strategy and disciplined, low-cost operating model”.

“With some late-life assets nearing closure, there is an increasing near-term focus on capital-intensive decommissioning activities,” the company said.

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“New project approvals are taking longer meaning work programs are more sequenced than in the past and some growth activities have been delayed.

“As a result, approximately 200 roles in the business unit are surplus to our business activity plans including contractors.”

The company said the surplus roles are “mainly Perth-based” with a small number based in other locations.

It is not known how many Perth-based jobs are left following the cuts.

Santos is led by Kevin Gallagher and headquartered in Adelaide.

It is the second-biggest producer of domestic gas in WA — behind Woodside — and has been operating in the west since its first offshore discovery in the Carnarvon Basin during the early 1980s.

The company has stakes in three of the State’s major domestic gas plants — Varanus Island, Devil Creek and Macedon.

In February Mr Gallagher told The West Australian he wanted a better line of sight around the approvals process before going full steam ahead with its $3 billion Dorado oil and gas project off WA’s North West coast.

Dorado partner Carnarvon Energy hit out in August at the slow pace of development.

Santos has also started engineering work for a second development off the Pilbara coast, a carbon capture and storage project at the old Reindeer gas field.

Earlier this year it celebrated a win in a landmark Federal Court case against a Tiwi Island Traditional Owner who had claimed the oil and gas company’s proposed Barossa gas export 262km pipeline off the NT coast would “damage sea country, dreaming tracks, songlines and areas of cultural significance”.

In December Santos confirmed it was in merger discussions with Woodside amid heat on Santos’ management to spin-off of its LNG assets.

About two months later talks with Woodside for the potential $80b deal were abruptly called off when the two sides failed to iron out the kinks of the tie-up.

ASX-listed Santos reported a 33 per cent fall in profit to $1.4b for 2023. That came as revenue declined 25 per cent to $5.9b amid lower volumes and softer oil prices.

More to come...

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