Guyana is Suriname’s best bet for natural gas

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Suriname’s mega port coined Firebird LNG will see US$5.4 billion being invested to create a shore base and an economic zone – similar to that of the Vreed-en-Hoop Shore Base Inc. (VEHSI) which will service ExxonMobil Guyana’s Yellowtail development. 

Phoenix Development and Havenbeheer Suriname are the developers. 

A major aspect of the project is a liquid natural gas facility. But here’s the catch – the developers haven’t said where the gas is coming from.

Suriname has not begun oil and gas production offshore despite racking up several promising finds in Block 58. TotalEnergies and APA Corporation both hold equal shares. The companies are now getting their bearings, trying to put a quantity of the oil and gas resources together and announce a final investment decision.

And even if that happens soon, it will still be years before any natural gas is available for use. 

But you know who does? Suriname’s neighbour – Guyana. 

Guyana poised to capitalise on Latin America’s dwindling gas production | OilNOW 

From 2015 to date, the country has racked up an exceptional natural gas reserve – 17 trillion cubic feet. This amounts to a quarter of the 11 billion oil-equivalent barrels discovered by ExxonMobil Guyana in the offshore Stabroek Block.

Even better is the fact that considerable portions of natural gas are in the southeastern part of the Stabroek Block near the border with Suriname, according to a Ministry of Natural Resources map published in its 2023 Energy Brief.

And Guyana is not planning to use all the gas. Its Gas-to-Energy project is set to bring 50 million cubic feet of natural gas per day to shore to alleviate the energy woes of the country. The rest? It plans to export with President Dr. Irfaan Ali’s eyes set on Guyana being a main tenet of a natural gas hub for the Caribbean. 

Guyana’s planned gas facility will separate the dry gas for power and the natural gas liquids (NGLs). The pipeline can transport an additional 80 million cubic feet, which the Vice President, Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo said has attracted several expressions of interest. The gas can be used for various purposes, including fertiliser, basalt fiber, and animal feed. And the country is even considering a second pipeline to bring even more gas. 

The gas will come from the Liza 1 and 2 developments, but Guyana also has the third – Payara, and the fourth – Yellowtail, coming on stream, with more gas in tow. There is also the fifth sanctioned project – Uaru and the sixth potential project – Whiptail, all of which will start production way before Block 58. 

The developers of the Firebird LNG project have started the process for environmental authorisation. According to information reaching OilNOW, the developers are looking to procure the feedstock gas out of country. So, a deal could be possible.

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