By David Winning

SYDNEY--A junior partner in the Santos-led Dorado oil project in Western Australia on Monday signaled construction costs would be less than prior guidance of $2 billion.

Carnarvon Energy said the joint venture is considering a reshaped design that would make better use of Dorado's proposed production facilities. This would reduce initial costs and could mean first oil from the project is produced sooner, the company said.

The venture has also identified several floating production storage and offloading units currently idled around the world that could improve the economics of the Dorado oil project, Carnarvon said.

"Carnarvon's estimates for upfront capital expenditure savings are expected to be material to the company," said Chief Executive Philip Huizenga.

He added the company's existing balance sheet would likely be able to fund its share of development costs under the optimized project, which the venture hopes to be in a position to approve by the end of this year.

Write to David Winning at

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

04-28-24 1840ET