Australia’s Santos sees top results from Dorado field test well

Oct 08, 2019
2 min read
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Australia’s Santos said results from an appraisal well showed its Dorado field in Western Australia could produce at the higher end of expectations.

The Dorado field located in the Bedout Basin, offshore western Australia is the country’s biggest oil find since 1996, has spurred an exploration revival off northwestern Australia.

The oil rate is one of the highest ever from a North West Shelf appraisal well test, Santos said about the Caley reservoir Dorado-3 appraisal well. The flow test achieved a maximum measured rate of approximately 11,100 barrels of oil per day and 21 million standard cubic feet of associated gas per day through a 68/64” choke. The production was constrained by surface equipment, indicating the reservoir has the capacity to flow at significantly higher rates. 

Santos managing director and CEO Kevin Gallagher said the test result was extremely positive.

“The test was conducted over only an 11 metre net section of the Caley from a total net reservoir interval of 53 metres, which demonstrates the high quality of the Caley reservoir.

“The results are very encouraging for development of the shallow-water Dorado field, with the test indicating very high potential flow rates of around 30,000 barrels per day from each single production well in the Caley reservoir. This positive result represents a significant step in progressing Dorado as one of Santos’ most exciting new development projects.”

The Caley flow test was the second of two for the Dorado field, following the Baxter test late last month which confirmed excellent productivity and fluid quality. Together, these results indicate potential for field production flow rates at the higher end of expectations and strongly support progress towards FEED entry in early 2020.

Dorado-3 is located in petroleum permit WA-437-P, in which Santos is operator and has an

80 per cent interest, with Carnarvon Petroleum Limited holding the balance. It is in Commonwealth waters approximately 160 kilometres north of Port Hedland and one kilometre north-west of the Dorado-1 discovery, made in July last year.

Dorado-3 was drilled using the jack-up mobile offshore drilling unit, Noble Tom Prosser, in a water depth of 95 metres and reached a total measured depth of 4,643 metres.

Once operations are completed, the well will be plugged and abandoned as planned, thereby concluding Santos’ 2019 offshore drilling program.