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Three Firms Compete for Dorado FPSO FEED. WHP Shortlist 'Soon'

May 14, 2020

Dorado development image is for illustrative purposes only, as the JV is still working on the concept - Image source: Carnarvon
Dorado development image is for illustrative purposes only, as the JV is still working on the concept - Image source: Carnarvon

Australian oil and gas company Santos, with its partner Carnarvon, is progressing works on the development of the Dorado oil field off W. Australia, with pre-FEED contracts for the FPSO awarded to three "world-class' contractors. The final investment decision date however, tentatively set for 2021, will depend on the market situation, "at the relevant time."

Carnarvon said Wednesday that the important progress was made with regards to works related to Dorado FPSO”) vessel and the wellhead platform (“WHP”). 

"Pre-Front End Engineering Design (“pre-FEED”) contracts were recently awarded to three leading contractors. Under the terms of the contracts, the parties will work independently to advance their FPSO designs and mature their vessel construction plans and supply terms. The award of these contracts enables the Joint Venture to maintain its project schedule," Carnarvon said, without saying who the contractors were.

Carnarvon said that one of the pre-FEED contractors would be selected at the end of the pre-FEED stage to start the formal FEED work.

The award of the FEED contract is expected to occur later this calendar year. The pre-FEED process will also determine the contracting strategy for the FPSO, the company said.

"By appointing three contractors to separately undertake this engineering and design work, the Joint Venture will be able to consider the optimal technical design, cost, and schedule for the provision of the FPSO," Carnarvon said.

WHP

As for the wellhead platform, Carnarvon said that Expressions of Interest (“EOI”) have now been received "from a significant number of companies."

The fixed wellhead platform (“WHP”) will support the production and ancillary wells and connect to and supply the FPSO.

"A shortlist of contractors will shortly be invited to tender for all or relevant parts of the WHP work including engineering and design, fabrication of jacket and topsides, and transport & installation into the field. Additional work for this project, including the preparation of the Field Development Plan and Offshore Project Plan, are also progressing on schedule," Carnarvon said.

Carnarvon said that the FEED process for the Dorado field development was a relatively low-cost phase within the total field development. 

"The Joint Venture intends to progress this phase broadly as scheduled (subject to operational impacts associated with COVID-19 restrictions). The current schedule has the Final Investment Decision (“FID”) slated for 2021, however, this will be subject to market conditions at the

relevant time."

World-class FPSO contractors

Carnarvon’s Managing Director, Adrian Cook said: “The award of the pre-FEED contracts for the supply of an FPSO is a significant step and demonstrates the momentum which is building within the Dorado development project. This is a testament to the quality of the project as we have the confidence to enter the next phase of development during this short period of uncertainty."

"It is pleasing to have experienced, world-class FPSO contractors appointed to the Dorado project. The shortlisted organizations have supplied excellent vessels in recent times and Carnarvon looks forward to working with them during the next phase of the project to ensure we have an optimized technical and financial solution. 

"Along with the great industry response to the expressions of interest for the supply and installation of a wellhead platform, Carnarvon is looking forward to all the necessary items being in place for a final investment decision on the Dorado project in 2021."

"Progressing the project now provides the Joint Venture with the greatest case to make the final investment decision next year if, as we expect, market conditions have improved. I would like to thank the Carnarvon team, the operator, and our suppliers for working diligently and safely in these challenging conditions to ensure we progress this fantastic project.” 

Santos is the operator of Dorado with an 80% stake, while Carnarvon has a 20% interest in the project located within WA-437-P.



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