All eyes are on Australia’s dominant offshore explorer, Santos, this year as it keeps alive the prospect of new oil and gas discoveries.

It is targeting gas near its existing offshore and onshore production facilities in Western Australia, and new oil finds in the Greater Dorado area, where it is developing the Dorado oilfield.

The company dominates Australia’s offshore exploration sector, as other operators such as Woodside, Chevron and Inpex are more focused on production operations.

Santos is drilling the Dancer-1 gas exploration well near its Reindeer offshore platform using the jack-up Noble Tom Prosser, which will then be mobilised to drill two large oil prospects — Pavo and Apus — in the Greater Dorado area.