The ABC reports that environment minister Peter Garrett has stalled Santos and BG's Queensland coal seam gas developments while revised environmental impact studies are being completed - Garrett stalls Qld's coal seam gas projects.
The Federal Government has ordered two mining companies to submit revised environmental impact statements (EIS) for multi-billion-dollar coal seam gas projects in Queensland.
Santos and BG want to convert coal seam gas in the Surat Basin in southern Queensland to liquefied natural gas (LNG) for export from Gladstone in the state's central region.
The Santos and BG developments in Queensland are estimated to be worth more than $20 billion, but have not been given final approval.
But Federal Environment Minister Peter Garrett says he has asked for extra information from both companies on water management strategies.
The SMH reports on speculation that Shell may buy into the company's coal seam gas project - Santos surges on Shell deal talk.
Shares in Santos jumped after the energy company said it is in talks to sell equity in its Gladstone LNG project and collaborate with others, raising expectations it may soon sign a multi-billion dollar deal with Royal Dutch Shell.
Santos said it was in "detailed ongoing discussions" with a number of parties in relation to potential equity and liquefied natural gas sales, and on collaboration between projects.
"These discussions are incomplete and there is no certainty that definitive agreements will be executed by the parties," Santos said in a statement on Friday.
Santos was responding to a report in The Australian Financial Review that it was close to inking a $2 billion deal with Shell to sell a 30-35 per cent stake in the Gladstone coal-seam gas-to-LNG project.
Citing industry sources, the paper said Santos was also close to signing long-term LNG sale agreements with China's Sinopec Corp and state-run Korea Gas Corp (KOGAS) that are worth tens of billions of dollars.
"Shell has indicated that they are open to consolidation and it is only logical for them to talk to Santos since Shell's acreage is land-locked and is located right next to Santos' project, which has a deep-water port good for LNG ship loading," said Di Brookman, an energy analyst at CLSA Asia-Pacific Markets.