Santos is optimistic that by the end of the year it will be able to resume development drilling at its US$3.6 billion Barossa giant gas field development offshore its native Australia; and the project will still be on track for start-up in the first half of 2025 without the budget being massively derailed, chief executive Kevin Gallagher said.

In December, the operator lost its appeal against an earlier court judgment that had effectively called a halt to the development drilling campaign, which had already began.