Australian operator Santos expects its appeal against the suspension of drilling operations at its US$3.6 billion (A$5.4 billion) Barossa gas project offshore northern Australia to be heard in mid-November.

Last month, Santos was dealt a blow when the Federal Court of Australia decided that development drilling should be suspended at the project following a legal challenge by an indigenous group.

Santos in its third-quarter report said that its appeal against the decision was expected to be held at a hearing in mid-November.