The Pavo-1 exploration well near the Dorado field offshore Western Australia in the Bedout sub-basin has made a “significant oil discovery” that has an estimated breakeven cost at less than $10 per barrel, operator Santos (ASX:STO) said today.
The well was drilled on the northern culmination of the greater Pavo structure and encountered a 60-metre gross hydrocarbon column in the primary Caley member reservoir target. Wireline data has confirmed 46 metres of net oil pay, with an oil-water contact intersected at 3,004 metres measured depth. Excellent reservoir quality is interpreted from logs with 19% average porosity, permeabilities in the 100 to 1,000 millidarcy range and hydrocarbon saturations averaging 80%, similar to that encountered in the Dorado field, reported Santos.
Wireline logging operations to collect pressure, sample and rock data across the target Caley reservoir to inform resource volume estimates have been completed. Initial indications from rig site analysis are of a light sweet oil (~52 degrees API) with a low gas-oil ratio.
A 2C contingent resource for the northern culmination is assessed at 43 million barrels of oil (mmbbl) gross. Santos’s 70% share in exploration permit WA-438-P would give it 30 mmbbl. Carnarvon Energy (ASX:CVN) owns the remaining 30% interest.
The result at Pavo-1 also significantly de-risks the hydrocarbon bearing potential of the separate southern culmination of the greater Pavo structure, added Santos. The southern culmination has an additional best estimate P50 prospective resource of 40 mmbbl gross. Probability of geologic success for the prospective resource in the southern culmination is assessed at 60%.
Santos chief executive Kevin Gallagher described the Pavo discovery, 46 kilometres east of the Dorado field, as a great result that could add further material value to the Dorado project through a potential low-cost tie-back to the proposed Dorado facility.
“The Pavo-1 success is expected to support a potential low-cost tie-back to the first phase of the proposed Dorado development, with Pavo north having an estimated breakeven cost of less than US$10 per barrel, and future gas production from the Bedout basin providing a source of supply into our existing domestic gas infrastructure in Western Australia, Gallagher said.
“It is also very encouraging for the next exploration well in the current campaign, Apus-1, which offers another potential nearby low-cost tie-in opportunity to the Dorado development,” he added.
“The Pavo-1 well result also proves the petroleum system in the basin is effective over a greater area, de-risking a number of nearby low-cost opportunities,” said Gallagher.
The Pavo-1 well is being drilled using the jack-up mobile offshore drilling unit, Noble Tom Prosser, in a water depth of approximately 88 metres and is currently drilling ahead to the final planned total depth of approximately 4,200 metres. The deepening of the well is focused on Early Triassic and Upper Permian stratigraphy not previously drilled in the basin and will provide key information to de-risk a significant number of gas and oil prospects in the Bedout Sub-basin.
Once wireline logging operations are completed at final total depth, the well will be plugged and permanently decommissioned as planned, and the rig will move to the Apus-1 well location 20 kilometres south-west of the Pavo-1 well location.
Pavo-1 is located in petroleum permit WA-438-P (Santos 70 per cent and operator, Carnarvon Energy 30 per cent). It is approximately 160 kilometres north-northeast of Port Hedland and around 46 kilometres east of the Dorado field.