The Santos-Carnarvon joint venture has made an “important step’ towards a final investment decision for Dorado, following the granting of a production licence for the Dorado field, located in the Bedout Sub-Basin in Commonwealth waters, about 150km north of Port Hedland.
Carnarvon said the production licence empowered the joint venture to produce petroleum and continue exploring and appraising hydrocarbons within the area.
“At a time when Australia needs energy security more than ever, it’s great to see a new Australian oil project, discovered by Australian companies Santos and Carnarvon Energy, moving closer to being production-ready,” Australia Minister for Resource and Water, Keith Pitt said.
“The original Dorado-1 discovery made in 2018 represented the most significant new oil play offshore Western Australia in the last decade and opened up the Bedout and Beagle sub-basins as a major new oil and gas province for Australia.”
In February the successful Pavo-1 exploration well, located 46km east of the Dorado field discovery, delivered the option for a low-cost tie-back to the first phase of the Dorado development and preparations are underway to drill the second well in campaign.
Santos Chief Executive Officer, Kevin Gallagher, described the Production Licence as a significant step on the path towards a final investment decision.
“The Production Licence builds on recent momentum for the Dorado Project following the significant Pavo-1 discovery last month that has the potential to add further material value to the development,” Gallagher said.
“Global oil and gas markets are seeing increased volatility and western countries are looking to diversify their supply sources away from Russia which, according to the International Energy Agency, currently produces 18 per cent of the world’s gas and 12 per cent of its oil.
“In this environment, Dorado and Pavo have the potential to bolster Australia’s national energy security while Australian LNG projects help to meet the energy needs of our allies.”
Minister Pitt said the multi-billion dollar Dorado project would safeguard Australia’s oil security.
“There is no doubt Australia needs new oil projects if we are to maintain our energy security and ensure our long-term national security. These projects bring new jobs and new investment into our oil and gas sector. Australia’s security and that of our friends, allies and trading partners will be founded on our ability to continue to attract new energy and resources investment, and our success in bringing on new projects like Dorado.”