Australia’s Santos (ASX:STO) will this week start drilling Pavo-1, a highly anticipated exploration well, near its high-quality Dorado field offshore Western Australia.
Partner Carnarvon Energy (ASX:CVN) said the Noble Tom Prosser jack-up drilling rig is mobilising towards the drilling site in WA-438-P in the Bedout Sub-basin. The company estimates a gross mean recoverable volume of 82 million barrels of liquids and 108 billion cubic feet of gas.
The target reservoir is the Caley Formation sands, which flow tested at equipment limits of around 11,000 barrels of oil per day in the Dorado-3 well.
The Pavo-1 well is targeting a prospect with the same reservoir type and trap style as the proven Dorado oil, gas, and condensate field. This is an attractive prospect, having an estimated one-in-three (34%) geological probability of success, said Carnarvon.
After drilling the primary Caley target, the joint venture has the option to drill into deeper stratigraphy including the Lower Archer Formation Dumont Member sands, and the Permian carbonates. Information from these intervals will be highly valuable in assessing the substantial exploration potential north and east of the Pavo prospect.
Following completion of the Pavo-1 well, the rig will drill the Apus-1 well which is located around 20km south-west of the Pavo-1 well location.
“The Carnarvon team are excited to be undertaking this next phase of exploration drilling in the Bedout sub-basin,” said Carnarvon chief executive Adrian Cook.
Targets like Pavo are highly attractive, from an economic and time to develop perspective, given their potential to utilise the nearby Dorado facilities, he added.
The Dorado development is currently in the advanced engineering and design stage with a joint venture final investment decision (FID) expected to occur later this year. Once FID is achieved, construction of the Dorado production facilities can commence.
Dorado has around 150 million barrels of contingent resources in the exciting Bedout basin offshore northwest Western Australia. Santos, which has an 80% operated interest in Dorado, is seeking buyers for a 20-30% stake in its large Dorado oil project and Bedout exploration portfolio offshore western Australia estimated to be worth up to $200 million.
The proven Bedout basin acreage remains one of Carnarvon’s core assets. The basin contains around 100 prospects at the current time. With new 3D seismic acquired in 2021 and this year, Carnarvon expects to enhance this number and delineate a short list for future exploration programs.
“While the opportunity within the basin is extensive, right now we are looking forward to seeing the results from this well in the coming weeks,” said Cook.
Santos operated permit WA-438-P with a 70% share. Carnarvon holds the remaining 30% interest.
Meanwhile, Carnarvon said today that a new 3D seismic acquisition campaign has started covering 3,260 sq km of acreage straddling the southern half of WA-436-P and a northern slice of WA-438-P.
“I am pleased the acquisition of the Keraudren Extension seismic survey will be undertaken this quarter because the 3D data covers a particularly attractive area of the Bedout basin. The Bedout permits remain one of Carnarvon’s core assets, and the four blocks cover a substantial footprint in the most prolific part of the basin. The new 3D seismic data is expected to enable us to better understand the eastern extent of the Triassic play system proved successful in the Dorado field. The objective will be to identify and delineate future drill targets, that will follow the Apus-1 and Pavo-1 wells that will commence shortly,” said Cook.