Here's why the Santos (ASX:STO) share price is struggling today

It's proving a tough day for ASX energy shares…

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Key points

  • The Santos share price is dipping today
  • The oil and gas giant has released an update on its WA project
  • The wider S&P/ASX 200 Energy Index is down today amid a softening in oil prices overnight

The Santos Ltd (ASX: STO) share price is sinking today, along with a number of other ASX energy shares.

Many ASX energy share prices have seen substantial increases in recent weeks, due to soaring gas and oil prices as a result of Russia's invasion of Ukraine. However, now many are seeing prices readjust as oil prices soften.

One of which is the Santos share price, which is down 1.34% to $7.735 at the time of writing. Also in the red is rival oil and gas company Woodside Petroleum Limited (ASX: WPL), which is falling 0.67% to $31.13.

In fact, all S&P/ASX 200 Energy Index (ASX: XEJ) shares are falling today. After a month of being the best performing sector on the ASX, it is the second-worst performing today, down 1.57% at the time of writing,

So, what's going on with Santos today?

Dorado project update

Just yesterday, Santos shares hit a 52-week high of $8.11, alongside climbing oil prices. However, the price of oil eased overnight, which could be contributing to the drop in the Santos share price today.

Additionally, the company today provided an update on its Dorado project in Western Australia.

It has begun a financing process for the project and expects front-end engineering and design (FEED) to be "ready by mid-calendar 2022".

Santos initially announced the Dorado project at the end of June last year, describing it as "an integrated oil and gas project".

It is to be developed in two stages. "Detailed design and engineering work for the production facilities for the Dorado phase 1 liquids development continues to progress as expected," Santos said.

The company added:

The Dorado liquids are an extra light, sweet product with externally provided market analysis indicating sales are likely to achieve a premium to Brent.

Final capital cost definition is being undertaken as part of the FEED process and will be finalised ahead of a Final Investment Decision (FID). Given the Dorado Project is in shallow water, near existing infrastructure and is an infantry-standard design, initial operating cost estimates have confirmed that this project will be a low unit cost operation.

In addition, Carnarvon Energy Limited (ASX: CVN) is starting to find ways to "fund its share" of the project, in which it holds a 20% stake. Santos holds the majority share of the project.

Carnarvon managing director and CEO Adrian Cook said:

Various sources of capital are being pursued to optimise the Company's balance sheet and extract the most value from this high-quality asset. I look forward to sharing further progress updates in the coming months.

How has the Santos share price been performing?

Since the beginning of this year, the Santos share price has increased by around 23%. It is up 4.6% over the past 12 months, 5% over the past month, and more than 9% over the past week.

The company has a market capitalisation of $26.55 billion, a last reported revenue of $4.8 billion, and a price-to-earnings ratio (P/E) of 18.

Motley Fool contributor Alice de Bruin has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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