Santos has received regulatory approval in Australia to drill the Dancer-1 shallow-water gas exploration well near its Reindeer offshore platform.

The prospect is located in 63 metres of water and will be drilled using a jack-up drilling rig, understood to be the Noble Tom Prosser.

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Drilling is planned to begin in the fourth quarter of 2021, said the National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environment Management Authority (Nopsema).

Drilling activities are planned for about 30 days. However, contingency (up to 75 days) is provided to account for unfavourable weather, additional drilling like a re-spud or operational challenges, added Nopsema.

Dancer-1 is a gas prospect targeting the Legendre formation.

It is seven kilometres away from Santos' Reindeer gas platform, and if successful will be developed as a subsea tie-back to Reindeer or with an extended reach well from the platform.