Australian oil company Carnarvon Petroleum has received preliminary results of the 2019 Keraudren 3D seismic survey carried out over the acreage containing the giant Dorado oil discovery in the Bedout Basin offshore W. Australia.
Carnarvon is a partner in the field, with Santos the operator. The oil find, dubbed one of the largest ever in Australia, was made by Quadrant Energy in 2018. Santos then, in the same year, acquired Quadrant in a $2.15B deal.
The partners last year started a 3D survey over the acreage to help define the next steps with the field, and according to Carnarvon's statement on Wednesday, early indications are that the Keraudren 3D survey has achieved the objective of providing superior quality data over Dorado.
Carnarvon said that the Keraudren results would be important for better defining the development of Dorado, and establishing high-quality exploration drilling targets in the survey area.
"Further processing of the Keraudren 3D will occur throughout the year with the final data set due late in 2020, but this will not impede the use of the data during this time," the company said.
The Keraudren 3D data was acquired using a new seismic methodology designed to enhance the quality of the data over the four targeted reservoir intervals discovered and appraised in the three Dorado wells drilled in 2018 and 2019. Work is progressing towards starting the Front End Engineering Design (“FEED”) phase, Carnarvon added.
Drilling in 2021
The new 3D seismic data was acquired to support the subsurface work within this scope, most particularly around the positioning and configuration of wells for future production operations. The data acquisition area was also extended to include a number of previously identified near field exploration prospects and leads.
"The assessment of these prospects and leads is intended to occur throughout the 2020 calendar year with the intention that, subject to the findings of this work, joint venture approvals and securing a drilling rig, an exploration drilling campaign could commence in the 2021 calendar year," Carnarvon said.
Carnarvon’s Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Adrian Cook said: “I’m pleased to report that the new seismic data has delivered significant improvement in data quality over the Dorado development area and surrounding near field opportunities. The seismic interpretation work is now underway for both development and exploration purposes and I’m looking forward to providing further updates as this work matures.”
Santos and Carnarvon in December 2019 said that the Dorado oil, gas and condensate development was in the late stages of the concept select phase for the development of the liquid.
The preferred concept is an FPSO and wellhead platform development, incorporating an initial phase of oil and condensate development followed by a future phase of gas export.