APA to focus on Baja-1 discovery area; relinquishes remainder of block 53

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APA Suriname Corporation LDC and its collaborators the Spanish CEPSA and Petronas have opted to return a portion of block 53 in the Surinamese offshore region to Staatsolie Maatschappij Suriname N.V., as detailed in a recent announcement by Staatsolie. The decision is grounded in the terms of the production-sharing agreements between Staatsolie and the companies.

Under the production sharing contract inked in October 2012, Staatsolie and APA agreed on a set of minimum exploration activities for block 53. With the exploration period concluded on Dec. 31 last year,  APA, CEPSA, and Petronas have chosen not to extend the work program, which would have included drilling at least one exploration well. 

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The contract is now confined to the Baja-1 area from Jan. 1, 2024. The partners intend to intensify exploration efforts in the Baja-1 oil discovery. The vacated segment of block 53 will be reintegrated into the contract by Staatsolie later this year. The company said that notable interest has already been expressed by international oil and gas companies.

Map shows location of the relinquished acreage offshore Suriname

Baja-1 was drilled to a depth of 5,290 meters (17,356 feet) and encountered 34 meters (112 feet) of net oil pay in a single interval within the Campanian. Preliminary fluid and log analysis indicates light oil with a gas-oil ratio (GOR) of 1,600 to 2,200 standard cubic feet per barrel, in good quality reservoir.

Block 53 witnessed four exploration wells between 2015 and 2021, with the sole oil discovery occurring in the Baja-1 region. CEPSA, a Spanish oil company, joined APA in November 2013, securing a 25% stake in block 53. Subsequently, Petronas entered a partnership in April 2014, acquiring a 30% stake in the block. 

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