Joint venture partners Santos and Carnarvon Petroleum have contracted Noble Tom Prosser to drill the Pavo-1 and Apus-1 exploration wells in Western Australia.
Apus and Pavo are two material exploration targets near the Dorado discovery in the Bedout Basin. Drilling of the prospects has been planned for late 2021 and early 2022.
The drilling program is expected to commence with the Pavo-1 well in late 2021, followed by the Apus-1 well.
Carnarvon outlined that the prospects have the potential to materially increase the aggregate development resource for the Dorado field if successful.
Resources capable of being tied back to existing infrastructure provide significantly enhanced economic outcomes, minimise additional capital investment requirements and shorten time period to first production from the tie back fields.
The Noble Tom Prosser jack-up drilling rig was previously used by Carnarvon and its operating partner in 2019 on the successful Dorado-2 and Dorado-3 appraisal wells.
Carnarvon managing director and chief executive officer Adrian Cook said the company is looking forward to the year ahead with multiple drilling operations and the Dorado development pre-front end engineering design (FEED) and FEED activities scheduled.
“Given the potential resource size and development aggregation benefits, these two drilling targets provide very attractive and meaningful opportunities for Carnarvon. Today’s news in locking in this rig is another clear point of progression in the advancement of the world class Bedout Basin,” Cook said.
With the drilling rig contracted, Santos as operator will now proceed to secure the remaining equipment, services and approvals required to commence drilling operations.