Carnarvon Petroleum Limited

09/07/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 09/07/2021 02:15

Dorado project to help Australia maintain major condensate supplier status in Asia

Note: Dorado phase one liquids are ~50 degrees API, which is similar to a condensate.

'Australia will likely maintain its status as Asia's major condensate supplier over the next decade, as upstream operator Santos is expected to contribute heavily to the country's ultra-light crude production over the coming years with its Western Australian Dorado oil project making steady progress.

Asian refiners and petrochemical makers have been depending heavily on Australia for condensate, or ultra-light crude supplies, ever since Iranian South Pars condensate trades came to a halt in the second quarter of 2019 due to international sanctions on Tehran.

With lack of clarity over the possible resumption of Iranian oil exports, major Asian condensate buyers, including South Korea's Hanwha Total, Indonesia's TPPI, Thailand's PTT Global Chemical, said the companies are relieved to see Oceania producers' new streams of condensate projects coming online.

Australia's condensate and natural gas production has been picking up rapidly in recent years, driven by a wave of new LNG projects, including Ichthys, Gorgon and Wheatstone.

Looking to add to Australia's rapidly growing condensate production pool, Santos awarded a Front-End Engineering Design contract for the floating production, storage and offloading facility at its Dorado oil project to Altera Infrastructure, the company said Aug. 23.

Santos noted that the FPSO contract is the project's largest and follows an announcement in June that Dorado entered the FEED phase.

Santos on Aug. 25 awarded the FEED contract for the design, construction and installation of the wellhead platform for the Dorado project.

Initial gross oil production at Dorado is expected to be between 75,000 b/d and 100,000 b/d, Santos said. The company holds operatorship and an 80% interest. The remaining interest is held by Carnarvon Petroleum.

In the first half of 2021, Santos' condensate production was 2.74 million barrels, up from 2.35 million barrels over the same period a year earlier.

In fiscal 2020-21 (July-June), Australia's condensate production was 76.23 million barrels, down from 82.24 million barrels the year prior but 87% higher than the low of 40.7 million barrels recorded in fiscal 2014-15, according to data from Australia's Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources.

The country's condensate production could surpass 90 million barrels/year within the next three to four years, as the Ichthys project could reach its peak production while early phase Dorado condensate output would gather pace, according to government officials in Canberra and upstream market analysts in Melbourne surveyed by S&P Global Platts.'

Read our media for the award of the FPSO here and here for the wellhead platform FEED contracts