Chief Executive Officer of Hess Corporation, John Hess, said one exploration well will be drilled this year in Block 42 offshore Suriname.
Hess, Chevron and Shell, the operator, are equal stakeholders in the Block which lies north of Block 58, which holds the most offshore discoveries in the South American country. Hess said that the experience at Block 58 in the area shows that there’s definitely hydrocarbons there, but that it is a more heterogenous block in terms of each prospect displaying different hydrocarbon characteristics. He noted that the block is “more gassy”, but TotalEnergies and Apache are trying to find enough oil to cobble together a development.
With respect to Block 42, the Hess boss said the partners have a pretty good understanding of the geology because of Hess’ position at the Stabroek Block, where Exxon has discovered 11 billion oil-equivalent barrels. Exxon’s discoveries have more oil than gas altogether, but the gas is notably more concentrated near the Suriname border.
“We think we’re in the oil window on block 42 and what we’re trying to do is to define that window,” Hess asserted.
The last well Shell drilled at Block 42 was Zanderij-1. Hess reminded that oil was discovered there, but it was deemed non-commercial. However, he said the results provided helpful information that showed a working petroleum system. The partners are therefore working to optimise the next well to find a prospective oil leg.
Hess said it is still early days for Block 42, but the partners are optimistic.