CEO of TotalEnergies, Patrick Pouyanne, said while a rapid development of Suriname oil resources would be desirable financially, how to “valorize” the associated gas remains a big question and with similar considerations offshore Guyana, a combined solution for commercializing the two countries’ gas might be appropriate.
The French oil major along with partner Apache has so far made four discoveries at Block 58 – Maka Central, Sapakara, Kwaskwasi and Keskesi East-1. A recent appraisal drilling campaign conducted at Keskesi East-1 encountered non-commercial quantities of hydrocarbons.
Offshore Guyana, U.S. oil major ExxonMobil has made around 25 discoveries since 2015 at the prolific Stabroek Block with estimated recoverable resources now pegged at 10 billion barrels of oil equivalent. Exxon started producing oil at the Liza Phase 1 Development in December 2019, less than 5 years after the first major discovery.
TotalEnergies has said that by the end of the year it will be able to determine if an announcement of the first commercial development offshore Suriname will be made.
“We would like to be able to launch as quickly as possible a first oil development in order to gain some revenues, but today the gas content of what we discovered is quite high, so the question is what do we do with this natural gas. There is maybe the same point with Guyana. The domestic markets could exist but are limited,” Pouyanne said.
“We must continue to appraise, to explore, we still have very interesting targets on both sides, and I hope at the end of 2022 we’ll have made a large inventory of all these resources and then we’ll be able to engage with the countries” on a solution, he said. “There’s no way for TotalEnergies to flare the gas. We’ll have to find a way to valorize the gas.”
Guyana, which has a no routine flaring policy, has implemented a system for payments to be made for gas flared beyond certain parameters. The country is also embarking on an ambitious gas-to-energy project that will see an initial 50 million standard cubic feet of gas per day being piped from the offshore Liza developments to land-based facilities for the generation of low-cost energy and other applications.
Suriname’s Block 58 comprises 1.4 million acres and offers significant potential beyond the discoveries made to date. Apache and TotalEnergies have identified at least seven distinct play types and more than 50 prospects within the thermally mature play fairway.