Benthic Wraps Geotechnical Survey at Santos' Dorado Site


Benthic, part of Acteon's geoservices division, has said it has completed geotechnical site investigation services for Santos at the Dorado field off the coast of Western Australia.

Benthic said this week that the work at the Dorado site involved geophysical and geotechnical surveys that included multiple Cone Penetration Testing (CPT) and borehole locations up to 100 meters.

The company used its PROD2 seabed drilling and geotechnical testing system, a portable remotely operated drill that can switch between piston sampling and rotary coring.

The tool can recover 75mm diameter cores with continuous sampling capability in water depths to 3,000m. It also operates on the seabed and is isolated from vessel motion via a slack umbilical, which reduces weather sensitivity and downtime, resulting in more efficient operations, Benthic said. PROD2 executed the project onboard the MMA Offshore's MMA Vigilant vessel.

Australian oil company Santos has recently chartered the Noble Tom Prosser jackup drilling rig to drill the Pavo-1 and Apus-1 exploration wells, near the Dorado field, with the drilling expected to begin in late 2021 with the Pavo-1 well, which will be immediately followed by the Apus-1 well.

Pavo-1 well will target 101 mmboe (Pmean, Gross) in a location near the Dorado field and Apus-1 well will target 307 mmboe (Pmean, Gross) also in a location near the Dorado field.

Both prospects have the potential to materially increase the aggregate development resource for the Dorado field if successful, Carnarvon, Santos' partner in Dorado said in March.

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. The discovery was made in 2018 and appraised in 2019.

The Dorado partners are working to complete the pre-Front End Engineering and Design work for the Well Head Platform (“WHP”) and Floating Production, Storage, and Offloading (“FPSO”) vessel for the initial phase-1 development of the Dorado field.

The phase-1 Dorado development comprises plans to produce the liquid resources utilizing gas re-injection to support enhanced oil recovery.

The current pre-FEED work involves the commercial and technical evaluation of the FPSO and WHP tenders. The facilities will be designed for the production of 75,000 to 100,000 barrels per day. The final investment decision for the field development is planned for 2022.

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