The Guyana-Suriname basin has been the subject of much discussion since US oil major ExxonMobil made its world class Liza discovery in 2015 at the prolific Stabroek Block. Appraisal drilling showed Liza contained 800 million to 1.4 billion barrels of oil equivalent resources, setting off a chain-reaction of exploration and development activities which have since brought first oil for Guyana and increased the Stabroek Block resources to more than 8 billion boe.
Liza-1 encountered more than 295 feet (90 meters) of high-quality oil-bearing sandstone reservoirs. It was safely drilled to 17,825 feet (5,433 meters) in 5,719 feet (1,743 meters) of water.
Now in 2020, Apache Corporation is having its own ‘Liza experience’ at Block 58 offshore Suriname, in what is a massive oil strike at the Kwaskwasi-1 well, significantly surpassing the company’s two previous discoveries on the block at Maka and Sapakara.
Kwaskwasi-1 encountered at least 912 feet (278 meters) of net oil and volatile oil/gas condensate pay across two intervals – Campanian – 282 feet (63 meters) of net oil pay and 86 meters of net volatile oil/gas condensate pay, and Santonian – 129 meters of net hydrocarbon pay.
Block 58 lies along the Guyana/Suriname border, suggesting it may share similar reservoir qualities as the vast resource footprint Exxon has uncovered in Guyana.
In the case of Exxon’s discoveries in Guyana, the resource has been de-risked over multiple years across the Stabroek Block – leading to steady increases in the resource estimate.
“Apache is at the beginning of this process, and we expect results from the company’s fourth exploration well, Keskesi East-1, sometime this fall,” investment bank, Morgan Stanley has said.
Beyond upcoming exploration, Morgan Stanley said it expects that Apache and JV partner Total will begin to supplement exploration with appraisals to quantify the resource, potentially a multi-year catalyst path. In May, Apache had submitted plans for the Maka appraisal program to the government, which has a 60-day review and comment period. Apache and Total then have 2 years to execute the plan.
“Apache also expects to submit plans for the Sapakara appraisal program in the coming weeks,” Morgan Stanley said.
The ExxonMobil and Apache discoveries have solidify the massive resource potential of the Guyana-Suriname basin across multiple play types, opening a new and significant deepwater province on the South American north coast.