Santos Opens Office in Perth

Santos Limited has opened a new Perth office for the development of its Mutineer and Exeter oil discoveries in the Carnarvon Basin. The Mutineer and Exeter fields, with combined reserves in the range of 70 to 196 million barrels of oil, were confirmed during 2002 and are currently being developed to target first production by mid-2005.

"Mutineer/Exeter is an important project for the Company," Santos' Managing Director, Mr. John Ellice-Flint, said.

"It is therefore appropriate that Santos reflects this importance by establishing a local base in Perth to develop local relationships and synergies.

"This is critical as we have commenced the commercial and technical activity focused around having a Floating Production Storage and Offloading facility (FPSO) onsite at Mutineer/Exeter, 160 kilometres offshore from Dampier, by mid- 2005.

"In parallel with this work will be other field development in collaboration with our joint venture partners to ensure Mutineer/Exeter becomes a commercial success within three years of discovery."

Santos' Western Australian operations contribute approximately 50 per cent of the Company's oil and gas liquids production annually.

In 2002, production from Santos' Western Australian field interests averaged in excess of 30,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day. The Company also drilled nine operated wells in Western Australian waters.

Santos has increased its investment in Western Australia's offshore petroleum sector and currently holds 16,200 (net) square kilometres of exploration acreage, including interests in ten operated permits and 31 non-operated permits.

The new Perth base for Santos will accommodate the Mutineer/Exeter development team employing 25 new people including engineers, drillers and project management and support staff.

The new office is located in the Forrest Centre, 221 St Georges Terrace, Perth.