Santos discovery at Dorado ‘larger than anticipated’

Santos has revealed the Dorado-2 appraisal well has confirmed a major oil and gas resource in the Bedout Basin, offshore Western Australia.

Dorado-2, which is approximately 160 kilometres north of Port Hedland and two kilometres away from the Dorado-1 discovery made in July last year, is co-owned by Santos (80 per cent) and Carnarvon Petroleum (20 per cent).

Initial indications reveal that fluid compositions are similar to the light oils and gases that were sampled in Dorado-1.

This indicates condensate yields ranging from 190 to 245 barrels per million standard cubic feet in the Upper Caley, Crespin and Milne formations and from 70 to 90 barrels per million standard cubic feet in the Baxter formation.

Santos chief executive officer Kevin Gallagher said the results indicated the Dorado discovery was “larger than anticipated.”

“The value of the discovery is greatly enhanced by the high-quality reservoirs and fluids and the shallow-water setting, which should facilitate a cost-competitive development,” he said.

“Dorado opens a new basin with high prospectivity in permits where Santos has a high equity position and rich exploration inventory with potential to substantially grow the resource base.”

Gallagher also revealed the acquisition of a new seismic survey, the Keraudren 3D survey, was in progress which intended to mature additional exploration opportunities for drilling in the area.

Carnarvon managing director Adrian Cook said the discovery at Dorado could potentially transition the company “into a significant producer in the future.”

“Dorado has been proven to be a world class resource, located in an ideal jurisdiction and operated by a quality partner,” Cook said

“The joint venture can now confidently continue with its plans for a fast-tracked Caley oil development and a more substantial full field development, which is expected to incorporate the Roc discovery, on a staged basis.”

The news boosted the share prices of both companies with Santos rising over two per cent to $6.79 and Carnarvon up almost 13 per cent.

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