More than 1.5 billion barrels of oil equivalent of potential undrilled oil and gas resource has been identified by joint venture Santos and Carnarvon Energy in the Greater Dorado area offshore Western Australia.

The pair have identified 100 prospects in their Bedout sub-basin permits WA-435-P, WA-436-P, WA-437-P and WA-438-P.

The top 20 have mean prospective resources of more than 1.5 billion boe on a gross Pmean basis, Carnarvon said today.

Several have been high-graded for near-term drilling campaigns, namely Pavo South, Ara and Starbuck.

The top five prospects in each of the four permits have been re-assessed following the successful Pavo oil discovery earlier this year, and they have the potential to be high graded for the next drilling round.

Carnarvon’s chief executive Adrian Cook said: “I am very excited to share this update on the significant prospectivity of the Bedout sub-basin.

“Given the success rate in the basin of nearly 70%, Carnarvon is confident the drilling of these wells will add to our already extensive resource base, providing potential future tie-backs to Dorado or supporting new standalone project hubs.

“Discussions are ongoing within the joint venture to determine where we focus our drilling and we look forward to sharing those plans as they unfold.

“All this exciting potential is underpinned by the Dorado and Pavo discovered resources of over 200 million barrels of oil and associated gas, with the liquids development the first step in unlocking the significant potential of the Bedout sub-basin.”

In focus

The Bedout sub-basin has become the most talked about offshore exploration play in Australia since Santos and Carnarvon made the large Dorado discovery and Pavo satellite discovery.

The Dorado project is under development but the joint venture has delayed making a final investment decision until 2023 owing to current inflationary cost environment and supply chain uncertainties.

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