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Opportunity to replace Russian gas in Europe: Santos

The nation’s biggest domestic gas supplier Santos is keen to reduce Europe’s dependency on Russia by selling more Australian LNG, a federal inquiry has been told.

Santos also warned on Friday that if investment in oil and gas exploration stops in places like Australia, the world will rely on Russia and OPEC countries for more than 60 per cent of supply by 2050.

Russia is the world’s third-largest producer of oil behind the United States and Saudi Arabia, while Australia is the top exporter of liquefied natural gas.

“The really important lesson out of Russia’s interference in western democracies is that we need to reduce not increase the west’s reliance on Russian oil and gas supplies,” Santos executive Tracey Winters said.

Last week, the International Energy Agency released a 10-point plan for deeper cuts to Russian oil and gas.

“Number two on that list is increasing supply from other sources,” Ms Winters said.

The European Union relies on Russia for 40 per cent of its gas needs, ruling out blanket energy sanctions from its response to the Ukraine conflict.

“There’s a lot of evidence that Russia has sought to maximise the west’s reliance on oil and gas from Russia, which in the case of Europe is a massive problem,” Ms Winters said.

“Natural gas will continue to play an important role in serving the energy needs of Australia and the world for at least the next two decades.”

The inquiry is examining taxpayer subsidies for Beetaloo Basin gas exploration.

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