Carnarvon Petroleum (ASX: CVN), together with its larger, private joint venture partner Quadrant Energy, has confirmed a significant oil discovery at the Dorado-1 well off the coast of northern Western Australia.
The offshore oil and gas explorer told the market today that light oil was recovered from an excellent reservoir containing a gross hydrocarbon package of 96.1m and a net pay thickness of 79.6m in highly porous and permeable sands.
The find was made in the primary target of the well, the Caley Member sandstone.
Carnarvon managing director Adrian Cook has described the discovery as “transformational” for his company.
“This is a significant discovery given the quantum of the net pay thickness, the quality of the oil and then extremely good reservoir characteristics,” he said.
The result was confirmed with wireline logging, which interpreted excellent reservoir characteristics with an average porosity of around 20% and a hydrocarbon saturation of 82.5%.
According to Carnarvon, the combination of light oil and excellent reservoir characteristics support the potential for high flow rates on production.
Cook said the find was very exciting, especially as there was still more drilling to come.
“With multiple targets still left, the focus now is to complete the drilling program through the Baxter, Crispin and Milne Members,” he said.
In April, Carnarvon had announced prospective resources for Dorado of 545 billion cubic feet of gas and 30 million barrels of associate condensate, or 125MMbbls of oil equivalent.
Cook said given the new discovery, the company planned to assess and issue a revised volume estimate of the structure “as soon as we possibly can, once drilling operations have finished”. This new estimate will be upgraded to a contingent resource.
Dorado-1 is located within the Phoenix project, which is operated by Perth-based Quadrant, Australia’s fourth largest oil producer. Carnarvon holds the remaining 20% stake in the joint venture.
Spudded in early June, the well had a primary objective to test the gas and liquids potential of the Caley Member, with it being located less than 20km from the joint venture’s successful Roc-1 and Roc-2 wells.
Multiple secondary targets had been identified in the Crispin and Milne Members, and now an additional hydrocarbon accumulation has been observed in the Baxter Member towards the very bottom of the well.
Dorado-1 has so far been drilled to a measured depth of 4044m and is still currently in a hydrocarbon-bearing column.
Carnarvon said following the completion of the wireline formation evaluation, the well would be deepened to around 4550m to evaluate the newly discovered Baxter sand, as well as the secondary Crispin and Milne targets.
Carnarvon shares soared 48.57% to A$0.26 on the news by midday trade.