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Offshore oil exploration in Suriname
goes foward

Marine Traffic

Tullow has contracted a rig from Denmark's Maesk in anticipation of drilling in Surinam.

By Canute James /Argus

Petroleumworld 07 30 2020

Exploration off Suriname is gathering pace ahead of new drilling by Malaysian state-owned Petronas and UK independent Tullow Oil.

Petronas plans to drill the Sloanea-1 well on block 52 in the fourth quarter. Tullow has contracted a rig from Denmark's Maesk in anticipation of drilling the GVN-1 prospect on block 47 in first quarter 2021.

Suriname's state-owned Staatsolie is "excited" at the growing interest of international oil companies such as ExxonMobil, and is "confident" Suriname will emulate the significant finds in neighboring Guyana , a company official told Argus .

A consortium led by ExxonMobil started production in Guyana in December, and output has reached 100,000 b/d, the country's energy department told Argus last week. Partner Hess said today that output will reach 120,000 b/d in August.

ExxonMobil is projecting output of 750,000 b/d by 2025 from the deepwater Stabroek block that it estimates contains 8bn bl of resources.

ExxonMobil deepened its presence in Suriname in May 2020 by acquiring a 50pc stake in Block 52 from Petronas.

The farm-in deal follows an April 2020 oil discovery by US independent Apache at offshore Block 58, where Total holds the other 50pc.

ExxonMobil already has a contract with Staatsolie for deepwater Block 59, with partners US independent Hess and Norway's Equinor.

"We have extensive offshore acreage that is highly prospective, and we expect positive results from the exploration wells to be drilled in the next few months," Staatsolie said.

Suriname has 92.5mn bl of proven reserves and 17.1mn bl of probable reserves, Staatsolie says.

The increased interest in Suriname's oil prospects coincides with the installation of a new government led by former justice minister Chandrikapersad Santokhi whose VHP party-led coalition pledged a "reconstruction" of the country's natural resources, without providing further details.

"This means the country will be working to engage more oil companies using the attractive terms that have so far been successful," the Staatsolie official said.

Suriname's smooth transition of power contrasts with Guyana, where the incumbent administration is refusing to accept the results of a vote recount that favored the opposition.

Offshore Suriname is part of the Guiana shield formation that runs from eastern Venezuela across Guyana and Suriname to French Guiana.

The US Geological Survey estimates that the region may contain 13.6bn bl of crude, 21.2 trillion cf (600bn m³) of natural gas and close to 575mn bl of NGLs.

By Canute James from Argus Media
07 29



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