Santos granted licence for new oil project off WA

Energy company Santos and its partner Carnarvon Energy have secured a production licence covering the Dorado oil field, 150 kms north of Port Hedland.

The project will cover the Dorado oil field in the Bedout Sub-Basin in Commonwealth waters, following a recent successful Pavo-1 exploration drill 46 kms east of the Dorado field.

Keith Pitt, Minister for Resources and Water, said its great to see a new Australian oil project, discovered by Australian companies, at a time when Australia needs energy security more than ever.

“The original Dorado-1 discovery made in 2018 represented the most significant new oil play offshore Western Australia in the last decade and opened up the Bedout and Beagle sub-basins as a major new oil and gas province for Australia.”

With the success of the recent drill and now the acceptance of the production licence offer, the Dorado project is moving towards a final investment decision and production.

Kevin Gallagher, Managing Director and CEO of Santos, said the production licence was an important step towards a final investment decision on the project.

“Global oil and gas markets are seeing increased volatility and western countries are looking to diversify their supply sources away from Russia which, according to the International Energy Agency, currently produces 18 per cent of the world’s gas and 12 per cent of its oil. 

“In this environment, Dorado and Pavo have the potential to bolster Australia’s national energy security while Australian LNG projects help to meet the energy needs of our allies.”

Initially the project, which is a low emissions intensity development, will focus on oil production and reinjection of the associated gas, and later production will recover natural gas for use in Western Australia.

Pitt said given current global uncertainty, Australia must focus on developing our traditional oil and gas along with new energy metals and materials.

“There is no doubt Australia needs new oil projects if we are to maintain our energy security and ensure our long-term national security. These projects bring new jobs and new investment into our oil and gas sector. 

“Australia’s security and that of our friends, allies and trading partners will be founded on our ability to continue to attract new energy and resources investment, and our success in bringing on new projects like Dorado.”

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