This week could be crunch time for Santos’ US$3.6 billion Barossa gas condensate project offshore with Australia’s Federal Court hearing a legal challenge to the National Offshore Petroleum Safety & Environmental Management Authority (Nopsema) over the regulator’s approval of a development drilling campaign.

Tiwi Islands senior lawman Dennis Tipakalippa filed the landmark lawsuit against Nopsema over the approval of Santos’ plans to drill the Barossa gas field.

Upstream understands that an itinerant version of Federal Court will convene this week in the Tiwi Islands to hear evidence in support of the Traditional Owners’ legal challenge to approval for the Barossa drilling campaign.