Australia’s Santos has struck a new gas supply deal with long-term customer and global mining giant Rio Tinto.

The agreement will see Santos supply Rio Tinto with up to 15 petajoules (14.1 million cubic feet) of gas in total, starting from late 2021.

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“We have been supplying natural gas to Rio (Tinto) for many years. This new gas supply agreement underlines the importance of natural gas for Australian manufacturers and industry,” Santos chief executive Kevin Gallagher said.

“The agreement strengthens our position as Western Australia’s leading supplier of clean, affordable and reliable energy.”

Santos currently claims to be Western Australia’s largest domestic gas producer, while on Thursday it revealed its overall production in the first quarter of 2021 totalled 24.8 million barrels of oil equivalent.

This was higher than fellow Australian rival Woodside Petroleum’s 23.7 million boe output over the same quarter.