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Apache lines up 5th exploration well in Suriname as priority shifts to South America

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U.S. based Apache Corporation has selected its 5th exploration well offshore Suriname at the prolific Block 58 where it has already made three discoveries and is now moving forward with appraisal drilling. The company said on its Q3 2020 earnings call on Thursday that it intends to step up its operations in the South American country while its activities in the US Permian Basin remain scaled back through the end of this year.

John Christmann

“We completed operations on our third successful exploration test in Block 58, Kwaskwasi [offshore Suriname], which is our best well in the basin thus far. We are currently working with our partner [Total SE] on an appraisal plan, which will be submitted before year-end,” Apache President and CEO John Christmann told investors.

Suriname’s first offshore discovery at the Maka Central-1 well was announced in January 2020 and the second one at the Sapakara West-1 well in early April. The third and largest discovery to date was made at Kwaskwasi-1 in July.

Officials at the country’s state oil company Staatsolie Maatschappij Suriname N.V. had said in September that Apache had submitted the appraisal programmes for the first two discoveries.

Christmann said Apache is prioritizing long-term returns over growth, generating free cash flow, strengthening its balance sheet through debt reduction and advancing large-scale opportunity in Suriname.

“Following Kwaskwasi, we commenced drilling our fourth exploration well, Keskesi in mid-September. We have also selected our fifth exploration well, Bonboni, which will be situated in the North Central portion of Block 58,” he stated.

Apache is in the process of transitioning operatorship of Block 58 to Total, who will conduct all exploration and appraisal activities subsequent to Keskesi.

Christmann said Total will be picking up 2 rigs early next year for the exploration and appraisal drilling at Block 58.

Norway-based independent energy research and business intelligence company, Rystad Energy, says the three discoveries made offshore Suriname to date are estimated to contain combined oil equivalent resources of almost 1.4 billion barrels.

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