Altera Infrastructure has secured front-end engineering and design (FEED) contract from Santos for the Dorado project, located in the Bedout Sub-basin, offshore Western Australia (WA).

The contract involves the delivery of the floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) facility for the Dorado project.

It will see the engineering, procurement, construction, installation, commissioning and testing of the vessel.

As part of the contract work, Altera will initially start full definition engineering to validate the technical requirements for the FPSO and associated disconnectable mooring system.

Santos managing director and CEO Kevin Gallagher said: “This contract is an important milestone for the project and Altera brings extensive FPSO design and operations expertise to the development.

“The FPSO design will provide for the integrated development of both the liquids and the gas resource and retains sufficient flexibility to support future nearby exploration success. A contract for the design, supply and installation of the WHP will be awarded soon.”

The Dorado oil and gas project, which was planned to be developed in two phases, is expected to have an initial gross production rate of between 75,000 to 100,000 barrels per day (bpd) of high-quality crude.

Estimated to cost approximately $2bn, phase I of the Dorado project involves the production of oil and condensate through a wellhead platform (WHP) and FPSO.

In the initial phase, the project partners plan to reject gas to enhance oil and condensate recovery of the field.

This will be followed by gas production in the future phase to backfill Santos’ domestic gas infrastructure in WA.

According to estimates, the field holds 150 million barrels (MMbpd) of contingent 2C oil resources.

Santos operates the Dorado project with 80% interest while the remaining stake is held by Carnarvon Petroleum.