Instead, the company's clean energy drive, which involves a new net-zero by 2040 target for scope 1 and 2 emissions announced today as a firm follow up to its net-zero by 2050 ‘ambition' of earlier, will be focussed on hydrogen and carbon capture and storage.
"It's not our business! What makes anybody skilled in the areas we're skilled go into the electricity market and compete? Good luck to them, it's not for us," he said.
"We have a lot of experience in managing hazardous facilities... we have a lot of experience in managing those and not blowing people up."
He noted many companies now exploring hydrogen had little operational gas experience.
He also believes the company will soon be able to hit the government target for ‘H2-under-two' or net zero hydrogen produced at A$2 per kilo.
This remains dependent on the government coming onboard with the carbon credits certification scheme needed for it take sanction of its $155 million carbon capture and storage project in the Cooper Basin, which at 1.7 million tonnes per annum initial nameplate capacity would make it the world's largest, after Chevron's 4MMtpa Gorgon, and cheapest at under US$30/t.
"We want to stay in the fuels game as the world needs fuels. We will manage that transition to cleaner fuels. We have that competitive advantage and we don't want to be everything to everyone. We'll stick to our knitting."
"Ultimately, decades down the line we become predominantly hydrogen and not natural gas," he said
Santos will use its Cooper Basin CCS project, which has had interest not just in Australia but from companies overseas wishing to ship their CO2 to Santos for injection into the depleted reservoirs, to store any CO2 made via steam methane reforming.
"We will not take FID until accreditation for Australian carbon credits is in place hopefully in place first half next year," Gallagher said. Its partner in Barossa and DLNG, SK E&S, is interested in involvement and has its own carbon neutral plans, he said.
"If you think of carbon credits as your revenue stream, it subsidises the hydrogen generation and you use the hydrogen for your fuel... that intnetal market can become a real lever for us instead of waiting for the infrastructure built for export markets," he said.
He also noted even now there is not enough east coast gas infrastructure "and that's after 50 years", meaning the same transport network for hydrogen domestically and internationally will take decades and "trillions, not billions, of dollars".