The unprecedented series of oil strikes in the deepwater offshore Guyana are being described by a global consultancy firm as ‘pearls on a string’ that is now stretching all the way to its next-door neighbour Suriname where the government is preparing for a major bonanza.
“As a global consulting and advisory firm, we have always had the privilege at Sproule to have a ring-side view of key markets around the world throughout our history,” said Christoffer Mylde, Senior Vice President, Corporate Development. “And as we’ve looked at that one of the most remarkable stories over the past years has been perhaps not just the Liza discovery in Guyana itself but the fact that we’ve seen subsequent discoveries like pearls on a string in what’s been dubbed ‘the golden lane of oil’.”
Offshore Guyana, U.S. oil major ExxonMobil made a major breakthrough in 2015 with the world-class Liza discovery at the Stabroek Block, the biggest deepwater oil find at the time, and has since went on to make upwards of 20 discoveries with just a few non-commercial strikes. This represents a record 80 percent success rate in a basin where over 40 dry holes were previously drilled, and companies exited in disappointment, or in the case of Shell, in anticipation of failure.
“Since early last year those discoveries have now stretched into offshore Suriname to the point where several players are really gearing up for what could fundamentally transform the energy sector in Suriname and the broader region,” Mylde said.
TotalEnergies and Apache have made 4 discoveries at Suriname’s Block 58, which according to investment bank Morgan Stanley, contains a potential 6.5 billion barrels of oil equivalent.
Additionally, Petronas and ExxonMobil hit pay last year at the Sloanea-1 exploration well located in Block 52.
Consultancy group Rystad Energy estimates that the five offshore discoveries made so far in Suriname hold cumulative recoverable resources of around 1.9 billion barrels of oil equivalent and anticipates production to come on stream by the end of the decade, surpassing the half million barrels per day (bpd) mark.
“We expect the net present value of projects on Suriname’s 11 active blocks to be significant, with a potential to generate substantial cash flows for both state player Staatsolie and international oil companies even in a low oil price environment,” Rystad Energy stated.
Taken altogether, Mylde said this bounty will transform the Suriname economy. “That is a game changer for Suriname and when those deep-water opportunities are proving to be competitive and providing the returns to stakeholders, it also has that opportunity to fundamentally provide and reshape the country’s economy,” he said.