Australia's dominant offshore explorer Santos has been awarded a new exploration permit near its Reindeer gas field off Western Australia, just as it prepares to spud the nearby Dancer exploration prospect.

Block WA-549-P was released as Area W20-14 in the Australian government's 2020 offshore exploration licensing round.

It was awarded to Santos by the National Offshore Petroleum Titles Authority on 13 December 2021.

It has a six-year work programme comprising spending of A$833,334 in the initial three-year period, then A$31.6