Offshore engineering work is advancing as Santos and Carnarvon Petroleum move towards a final investment decision on the US$2 billion Dorado oil project offshore Western Australia.

The project is in the front-end engineering and design phase, with sanction planned in the first half of this year and first production about four years later.

The project will comprise a large disconnectable floating production, storage and offloading vessel, a 16-slot offshore wellhead platform and subsea equipment connecting the FPSO and platform.