WA's latest domestic gas project, the $US1 billion ($976 million) Devil Creek development, will start producing next month.
Santos, which owns 45 per cent of the project - operator Apache has 55 per cent - said yesterday development remained on track for first gas this quarter, with pre-commissioning well advanced.
It is understood the partners expect first gas from the project late next month. The project comprises the Reindeer gasfield linked via a 110km pipeline to the Devil Creek processing plant, 40km south of Dampier. Much of the start-up gas has been sold to CITIC Pacific's nearby $US6.1 billion Sino Iron magnetite project.
Santos' affirmation of the Devil Creek schedule was contained in its September quarterly report, which disclosed a 27 per cent increase in the Adelaide-based company's sales revenue while full-year production guidance of 47 million to 50 million barrels of oil equivalent was maintained.
Santos shares fell 27¢ to $12.07.
The quarterly also said Santos had collected a second payment of $US31 million as part of a deal to sell equity in the Spar gasfield, also in the Carnarvon basin, to Apache.
When the deal was announced in August last year, Apache said it was likely to get up to $US85 million from Apache.
The initial $US31 million payment was followed by another $US31 million, announced yesterday, while Santos said a further payment may fall due once Spar's reserves were reassessed at a later stage.