Santos (ASX: STO) has flowed first oil from its $490 million Fletcher Finucane project in the Carnarvon Basin offshore Western Australia ahead of schedule and on budget.
Fletcher Finucane is projected to have an average gross production rate of 15,000 barrels per day for the first 12 months of production.
The project has estimated Proved and Probable Reserves of about 14 million barrels of oil.
Fletcher Finucane was sanctioned in January 2012 and consists of a three-well subsea tie-back to the existing Santos-operated Mutineer Exeter floating production, storage and offloading facility.
This will also extend the economic life of Mutineer Exeter by up to four years and grant the Fletcher Finucane and Mutineer Exeter participants more time to examine other opportunities within tie back distance of the existing facilities.
Santos has also secured a drill rig and joint venture approval to drill the Vanuatu prospect, which is the first of a number of identified near-field exploration tie-back opportunities.
If successful, Vanuatu can be tied back to the new subsea equipment at Fletcher Finucane.
Santos holds a 44% operating interest in the Fletcher Finucane project. The other participants are Kufpec and JX Nippon Oil & Gas.
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