Australian energy company Santos has achieved first oil from the Van Gogh infill project located in the offshore Exmouth Basin in Western Australia.
Santos said that the start of production from the infill project marks the successful completion of the two-well program aimed at boosting production from the Van Gogh field.
The Van Gogh field is one of three subsea oil field developments in the Exmouth Basin, which has been tied-back into the Ningaloo Vision Floating Production, Storage and Offloading vessel (FPSO).
Located in in Production License WA-35-L, the Van Gogh field has been producing since 2010. The nearby Coniston and Novara fields, which began production in 2015 and 2016, respectively, are the other two fields to have been tied back to the Ningaloo Vision FPSO.
Santos is the operator of the Van Gogh-Coniston-Novara project with a stake of 52.5%.
The company commenced the Van Gogh infill project in September 2018. The project saw drilling and completion of two subsea wells, which were connected to existing offshore infrastructure.
According to the Australian oil and gas producer, the two dual-lateral wells were targeted in order to access bypassed oil that wasn’t drained from the original wells.
The company said that these were technically the most challenging of any wells in the development, particularly drilling horizontal sections in the reservoirs as long as 3,500m only and 950m below the seabed.
Santos managing director and CEO Kevin Gallagher said: “The campaign has also been delivered safely and efficiently, highlighting the tremendous offshore expertise we have brought into the business with last year’s acquisition of Quadrant Energy.”
Discovered in 2003, the Van Gogh field was developed through the drilling of 19 horizontal production laterals, two water injection wells and one gas injection well.
The offshore field’s previous operator was the US-based Apache, which in 2015, divested its Western Australian oil and gas assets to a consortium made up of Brookfield Asset Management and Macquarie Capital.
The Western Australian oil and gas assets, including the Van Gogh field, came under the portfolio of Quadrant Energy, which was launched by the consortium following the acquisition.
Towards the end of last year, Quadrant Energy was acquired by Santos in a $2.15bn deal.