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Oil discovery made near Dorado development offshore Western Australia

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Oilfield Technology,

Santos has announced the Pavo-1 exploration well has confirmed a significant oil discovery 46 km east of the Dorado field in the Bedout Sub-basin, offshore Western Australia.

The well was drilled on the northern culmination of the greater Pavo structure and encountered a 60-m gross hydrocarbon column in the primary Caley member reservoir target. Wireline data has confirmed 46 m of net oil pay, with an oil-water contact intersected at 3004 m measured depth (MD). Excellent reservoir quality is interpreted from logs with 19% average porosity, permeabilities in the 100 to 1000 millidarcy range and hydrocarbon saturations averaging 80%, similar to that encountered in the Dorado field.

Wireline logging operations to collect pressure, sample and rock data across the target Caley reservoir to inform resource volume estimates have been completed. Initial indications from rig site analysis are of a light sweet oil (~52 degrees API) with a low gas-oil ratio. A 2C contingent resource for the northern culmination is assessed at 43 million bbl of oil gross (Santos 70% interest 30 million bbl).

The result at Pavo-1 also significantly de-risks the hydrocarbon bearing potential of the separate southern culmination of the greater Pavo structure. The southern culmination has an additional best estimate P50 prospective resource of 40 million bbl gross (Santos 70% interest 28 million bbl). Probability of geologic success for the prospective resource in the southern culmination is assessed at 60%.

Santos Managing Director and CEO, Kevin Gallagher, described the Pavo discovery as a great result that could add further material value to the Dorado project through a potential low-cost tie-back to the proposed Dorado facility.

“The Pavo-1 success is expected to support a potential low-cost tie-back to the first phase of the proposed Dorado development, with Pavo north having an estimated breakeven cost of less than US$10 per barrel, and future gas production from the Bedout basin providing a source of supply into our existing domestic gas infrastructure in Western Australia,” Gallagher said.

“With the global oil and gas markets seeing increased volatility, low-CO2 oil and gas resources at Dorado and Pavo add significantly to Australia’s national energy security. “It is also very encouraging for the next exploration well in the current campaign, Apus-1, which offers another potential nearby low-cost tie-in opportunity to the Dorado development. “The Pavo-1 well result also proves the petroleum system in the basin is effective over a greater area, de-risking a number of nearby low-cost opportunities.”

The Pavo-1 well is being drilled using the jack-up mobile offshore drilling unit, Noble Tom Prosser, in a water depth of approximately 88 m and is currently drilling ahead to the final planned total depth of approximately 4200 m MD. The deepening of the well is focused on Early Triassic and Upper Permian stratigraphy not previously drilled in the basin and will provide key information to de-risk a significant number of gas and oil prospects in the Bedout Sub-basin.

Once wireline logging operations are completed at final total depth, the well will be plugged and permanently decommissioned as planned, and the rig will move to the Apus-1 well location 20 km south-west of the Pavo-1 well location.

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