Australian oil and gas company Santos has started oil production from the Van Gogh Phase 2 Infill Development, offshore W. Australia, hitting a production record.
Santos had announced a Final Investment Decision (FID) on the Van Gogh Infill Development Phase 2 Project in March 2020, with the project involving the drilling and completing of three new horizontal, dual-lateral production wells and subsea tieback into existing infrastructure.
Announcing the first oil on Monday, Santos said that the first of three new production wells was producing at the highest initial rate from an individual well in field history. Production from Van Gogh began in 2010, with the nearby Coniston and Novara fields tied back to the FPSO in 2015 and 2016, respectively.
"Following completion and tie-in, the first well has produced at a peak rate of 23,200 barrels per day (bbl/d), well ahead of expectations for a single well," Santos said.
The drilling of the second horizontal, dual-lateral production well now underway.
The Van Gogh field (WA-35-L) is one of three subsea oil field developments located in the Exmouth Basin which tie into the Ningaloo Vision FPSO.
Santos Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Kevin Gallagher said:"The team has done a great job delivering first oil so quickly, accessing additional reserves and lowering unit production costs.
"We have seen an excellent reservoir outcome from this first well with a larger oil column than expected and a total horizontal section of 5,430 metres, which is 490 meters more than originally planned.
“I am particularly pleased that this is a great example of Santos creating value from assets we acquired, through an opportunity that was not valued at the time of the acquisition.
“This is also the highest peak production seen from a single well in the Van Gogh field and exceeded our pre-drill expectations. “The Van Gogh crude oil is also a highly sought-after product, and the premium to Brent that we get allows further value to be realized beyond the current oil price.”
The Valaris MS1 offshore drilling rig will complete the remaining two wells over the next few months, with start-up expected before the end of the year.
Santos has a 52.5% interest in the Van Gogh-Coniston-Novara project, which it operates. The remaining interest is owned by INPEX.