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Santos today announced a significant gas discovery at the Crown-1 exploration well in WA-274-P, located in the Browse Basin offshore Western Australia.

The Crown-1 well is located approximately 500 kilometres north of Broome, approximately 60 kilometres west of the Ichthys field and 20 kilometres east of the Poseidon field. The water depth at location is 440 metres.

Wireline logging has to date confirmed 61 metres of net gas pay in the Jurassic-aged Montara, Plover and Malita reservoirs between 4,873 and 4,998 metres, and the well has not intersected a gas-water contact.

Pressure data has been acquired from multiple points indicating that gas would be expected to flow at a high rate. Multiple condensate-bearing gas samples have been recovered to surface.

Drilling will now progress on the Crown-1 well to a proposed total depth of 5,200 metres.

Santos’ Head of Exploration Bill Ovenden described Crown-1 as an important gas discovery for the company.

“The Crown discovery is well positioned, in close proximity to existing and proposed LNG projects in the Browse basin and other material exploration prospects,” Mr Ovenden said.

Santos holds 30% of WA-274-P and is operator. Joint venture partners are Chevron (50%) and INPEX (20%).

In addition, Santos has executed agreements to take a 30% interest in the adjoining exploration permit, WA-408-P, operated by Total (50%), subject to customary conditions. Murphy Oil Corporation has a 20% interest in the permit. The joint venture has committed to an initial drilling programme in the permit, including Dufresne-1 and Bassett West-1. These wells are expected to immediately follow the Crown-1 program.

Santos VP Western Australia and Northern Territory John Anderson said the agreement with Total and Murphy substantially increased the company’s exposure to exploration upside in the Browse Basin.

“The strong partnerships and the material prospectivity in this key offshore gas province positions Santos very well for the future. We look forward to the WA-408-P drilling programme,” Mr Anderson said.