Santos has seen encouraging signs of hydrocarbons in the primary reservoir target at the Pavo-1 exploration well offshore Western Australia.
The well has drilled down to about 3282 metres depth through multiple sands in the Caley to Crespin reservoirs.
Logging while drilling indicated porous and permeable reservoir intervals with similarity to the Dorado oilfield reservoir, said joint venture partner Carnarvon Energy.
Elevated gas readings and increased resistivity were observed between 2944 metres and 3001 metres indicating the presence of hydrocarbons.
Wireline logging will be done to help understand the hydrocarbon zone, but before that happens the jack-up drilling rig Noble Tom Prosser is being prepared for down-manning due to potential cyclone activity.
"Once it has been deemed safe to do so, the drilling rig will be up-manned in preparation for wireline activities," added Carnarvon.
The Pavo-1 well is targeting a gross mean recoverable volume of 82 million barrels of liquids and 108 billion cubic feet of gas in the Caley formation sands, which flow tested at equipment-restrained rates of 11,000 barrels per day of oil in the Dorado-3 appraisal well.
Following completion of the Pavo-1 well, the rig will drill the larger Apus-1 well, which is located around 20 kilometres southwest of Pavo-1.
The partners in Block WA-438-P in the Bedout sub-basin are operator Santos with a 70% stake and Carnarvon on 30%.