SANTOS is adamant everything remains on track for the development of its coal seam gas project at Narrabri.
The energy giant has its sights set on bringing the $2 billion natural gas development online sometime between 2017 and 2020.
Santos NSW general manager Peter Mitchley told The Leader this week the company's recent financial woes in no way threatens the project.
A sharp decline in the international oil price has seen Santos' share price almost halve to about $8 since June last year, raising questions over future investment.
The company announced this week it would reduce its contractor workforce and implement redundancies across its domestic and international operations.
No decisions have been made at this stage on what impact, if any, the money-saving measures will have on the company's 30-plus staff based in Narrabri.
But Mr Mitchley said the Narrabri Gas Project remained a top priority for the company and its "attractiveness" was not harmed by volatility in the oil sector.
"What does impact us though is that we are an oil and gas project and our revenue has been hit by falling oil prices and, therefore, we need to tailor our rate of investment," he said.
Santos has invested more than $1 billion in the exploration and appraisal phase of the project it acquired from Eastern Star Gas in 2011.
Mr Mitchley said work continues apace on the all-important environmental impact statement (EIS), but no firm date for its lodgement had been set.
The EIS is Santos' blueprint for mitigating any environmental issues over the gasfield and will be subject to an assessment by the independent Planning Assessment Commission.
"We're working through the issues and the studies and we need to finalise that and we'll launch it when it's in a state that's fit for purpose and a product that we're proud for Santos to put forward," he said.
Santos says that at full production the project is capable of supplying up to 50 per cent of the state's natural gas needs.
If approved, the 850-well development will create up to 1200 jobs during construction and 200 permanent positions in Narrabri throughout the gasfield's life.