Santos Books Noble Jack-Up to Drill Near Dorado Field in Australia

March 3, 2021

Noble Tom Prosser (Photo: Noble Corporation)
Noble Tom Prosser (Photo: Noble Corporation)

Australian oil company Santos has chartered the Noble Tom Prosser jackup drilling rig to drill the Pavo-1 and Apus-1 exploration wells, offshore W. Australia, Carnarvon Petroleum, a partner in the project has informed.

The company, which is working with Santos to develop the Dorado oil discovery said Wednesday that the drilling program was expected to begin in late 2021 with the Pavo-1 well and will be immediately followed by the Apus-1 well.

Pavo-1 well will target 101 mmboe (Pmean, Gross) in a location near the Dorado field and Apus-1 well will target 307 mmboe (Pmean, Gross) also in a location near the Dorado field.

Both prospects have the potential to materially increase the aggregate development resource for the Dorado field if successful, Carnarvon said.

"Resources capable of being tied back to existing infrastructure provide significantly enhanced economic outcomes, minimize additional capital investment requirements and shorten time periods to first production from the tie back fields," Carnarvon added.

The Noble Tom Prosser jack-up drilling rig was previously used by Carnarvon and its operating partner in 2019 on the successful Dorado-2 and Dorado-3 appraisal wells. The discovery was made in 2018 and appraised in 2019.

With the drilling rig contracted, the operator will now proceed to secure the remaining equipment, services, and approvals required to start drilling operations, Carnarvon said.

Carnarvon Managing Director and CEO, Adrian Cook, said "Given the potential resource size and development aggregation benefits, these two drilling targets provide very attractive and meaningful opportunities for Carnarvon. Today’s news in locking in this rig is another clear point of progression in the advancement of the world-class Bedout Basin."

We are looking forward to an exciting year ahead with multiple drilling operations progressing to plan as well as the advancement of our Dorado development pre-FEED and FEED activities”.

In an update last week, Carnarvon said the partnership was close to completing the pre-Front End Engineering and Design work for the Well Head Platform (“WHP”) and Floating Production, Storage, and Offloading (“FPSO”) vessel for the initial phase-1 development. 

The phase-1 Dorado development comprises plans to produce the liquid resources utilizing gas re-injection to support enhanced oil recovery. 

The current pre-FEED work involves the commercial and technical evaluation of the FPSO and WHP tenders. 

"This is an important stage as the Joint Venture plans to formally enter FEED in early 2021 before the planned Final Investment Decision (“FID”) in 2022. Dorado is a world class development, and the Joint Venture is in an excellent position as it continues to progress the project," the company said.



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