Australia's Santos Ltd. said on Oct. 8 results from a closely watched appraisal well showed its Dorado field in Western Australia could produce at the higher end of expectations.

Excitement over the Dorado field, Australia's biggest oil find since 1996, has spurred an exploration revival off northwestern Australia that could drive a resurgence in production that has fallen to a near 50-year low.

Santos said drilling had indicated "very high potential flow rates" of around 30,000 barrels per day from each single well in the Caley reservoir of the Dorado field, a result that Chief Executive Kevin Gallagher called "extremely positive."

"This positive result represents a significant step in progressing Dorado as one of Santos' most exciting new development projects," he said in a statement.

Santos owns an 80% stake in Dorado and is operator, after having acquired Quadrant Energy in 2018, while Carnarvon Petroleum owns a 20% stake.