Santos and Carnarvon Petroleum have launched a competitive pre-front end engineering design (pre-FEED design) competition for the floating production storage and offtake (FPSO) vessel of the Dorado field development.

The Dorado field is located within the WA-437-P permit in the North-West Shelf of Australia. Santos is the operator with an 80% stake, while Carnarvon Petroleum holds the remaining 20% stake.

FID on Dorado field likely to be taken in 2021

The joint venture partners are targeting to take a final investment decision (FID) on the Dorado field development for 2021, subject to market conditions.

Carnarvon Petroleum said that pre-FEED contracts were given recently to three major contractors. As per the terms of the contracts, the awarded parties will independently work to push ahead with their FPSO designs and mature their construction plans and supply terms of the vessel.

According to Carnarvon Petroleum, the award of the contracts will help the joint venture to stick to the project schedule, while the pre-FEED process is expected to help determine the contracting strategy for the FPSO.

The company said that one of the three pre-FEED contractors will be selected at the end of the pre-FEED stage to start the formal FEED work for the Dorado field FPSO. The award of the FEED contract is likely to be announced later this year.

Furthermore, by engaging three contractors to separately carry out the engineering and design work, the joint venture will be in a position to consider the optimal technical design, cost and schedule for the provision of the vessel.

Carnarvon Petroleum also revealed that a significant number of firms have submitted their expressions of interest (EOI) for the fixed wellhead platform (WHP) that will support the production and ancillary wells.

The company said that shortlisted contractors will be invited soon to tender for all or relevant parts of the work pertaining to the wellhead platform that includes engineering and design, fabrication of jacket and topsides, and transport and installation into the Dorado field.

Carnarvon Petroleum 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 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.”