7 play types, over 50 large prospects at Apache Suriname block


In Suriname, where at least four non-commercial wells have been drilled in as many years by Kosmos Energy and Apache, the next 12 months nonetheless look busy.

S&P Global Platts said in a recent report that despite setbacks at two Suriname wells – Kolibri on Block 53 in 2017 and Popokai on its 1.44 million-acre Block 58 in 2015 – Apache next month will spud another well on Block 58.

The tract borders some of Stabroek Block’s most productive areas in Guyana and is near Haimara, the ExxonMobil group’s south-easternmost find on, or very near, the two countries’ maritime border.

But in recent remarks, Apache CEO John Christmann refused to say if his company’s upcoming well, which should take 30 to 60 days to drill and is one of several more wells permitted in Suriname, would directly offset Haimara.

“When we look at the views across by kind of stitching together the 2-D and 3-D data [from Suriname] and taking into account Guyana activity going on next door, you’ll find that the geologic setting is not changing much,” Christmann said. “But it’s exploration.”

Christmann added there are seven play types and over 50 large prospects in the block from which to select targets.

In addition, Tullow eyes drilling the Goliathberg-Voltzberg prospect in 2020 on Suriname’s Block 47 in 1,900 meters of water with partners Pluspetrol and Ratio Exploration. And Kosmos, which drilled the non-commercial Pontoenoe well on Block 42 last October and the Anapai well in Block 45 in June 2018, still plans to push ahead with exploration in the country.

Earlier this year, Kosmos was mulling the Walker prospect for 2020 drilling on Block 42, which is also adjacent to the Turbot area of southeast Stabroek in Guyana. Hess especially sees Turbot as a target-rich area and said recently it is expected to become a major development hub.

Other companies hold acreage in Suriname, including Cairn Energy and Equinor and their respective partners, while in Guyana Anadarko Petroleum (which was absorbed into Occidental Petroleum in early August) and CGX each operate separate blocks with partners.

Guyana and Suriname are part of a region of northern South America called “The Guianas,” involving three countries – Guyana, formerly known as British Guiana; Suriname, formerly Dutch Guiana; and French Guiana.

The region also includes parts of eastern Venezuela on the west and Brazil’s Amapa state to the east. Those two areas were respectively known as Spanish Guyana and Portuguese or Brazilian Guiana.