Carnarvon Energy, and its partner Santos, have started drilling at the Pavo-1 well, offshore Western Australia.

The well, which was spud last week using the Noble Tom Prosser jack-up drilling rig, is located in the WA-438-P exploration permit.

Santos operates the permit with a 70% stake, while Carnarvon owns the remaining 30% interest.

In a press statement, Carnarvon said: “The Pavo-1 well is targeting a gross mean recoverable volume of 82 million barrels of liquids, and 108 billion cubic feet of gas, in the Caley Formation sands, which flow tested at equipment limits of around 11,000 barrels of oil per day in the Dorado-3 well.

“This is an attractive prospect, having an estimated one-in-three (34%) geological probability of success.”

Upon drilling the primary Caley target, the joint venture will have the option to drill into deeper stratigraphy including the Lower Archer Formation Dumont Member sands, and the Permian carbonates.

The drilling rig, following completion of the Pavo-1 well, will drill the Apus-1 well, located approximately 20km south-west of the Pavo-1 well.

The Pavo-1 well is located approximately 160km north-east of Port Hedland and nearly 40km east of the Dorado field.

In April 2021, Santos announced its plans to divest between 20% and 30% of its interest in the Dorado field, and the exploration portfolio in the Bedout basin, offshore Australia.

The Dorado field is located in the WA-437-P exploration permit in the Commonwealth waters.

Santos operates the field with an 80% stake while Carnarvon Petroleum holds the remaining 20% stake.