Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Oil finds in Guyana, Suriname position countries to become “new force” in global energy sector

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Paramaribo, Suriname – Over the last two years, South American neighbours – Guyana and Suriname have been foisted into the limelight due to the exciting oil and gas discoveries being made in both offshore territories.

To date, Guyana’s proven oil and gas reserves in the Stabroek block have shot up almost to 11 billion barrels, while Suriname’s Block 58 continues to churn out successive oil finds putting it among the hottest oil provinces in the world.

Because of these facts, Suriname’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Albert Ramdin believes that both Guyana and Suriname are aptly positioned to become a major force in the global energy sector.

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During his welcome remarks at the opening of Suriname’s Energy, Oil and Gas Summit (SEOGS), the Dutch government official noted that prudent management of the newfound resources demands “new approaches, answers and decisions” that will push governments on both sides of the border to be “bold and outside of their comfort zone.”

“The question now is – are we prepared to make those difficult choices relating to the future use of carbon-based energy generation? Are we ready to embark on that new road of utilizing energy to create more equitable, just and prosperous economies?” he asked.

“Both Suriname and Guyana stand on the cusp of major development that will change the face of the Caribbean nation. And the new industry in both Suriname and Guyana can become a new force in the world,” Mr. Ramdin stated.

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According to Ramdin, both governments must be prepared to update, amend and enact the necessary legislation to ensure the success of both oil industries.

Guyana is ahead of Suriname in this regard. The country has in place a Local Content Act to ensure Guyanese get a share of the pie along with a Natural Resource Fund (NRF) Act to govern the management of oil revenues.

Suriname has no Local Content Policy in place but its President, Chandrikapersad Santoki announced that discussions have started to see this instituted. Suriname operationalised its Sovereign Wealth Fund back in August 2020.

The major oil finds in Suriname were made by TotalEnergies and Apache Corporation in the offshore Block 58. In Guyana’s case with the Stabroek Block, it is ExxonMobil Guyana and its partners Hess and CNOOC.

The underpinning theme for the SEOGS is that Suriname is opening for business. The Conference continues at the Royal Torarica Hotel in the nation’s capital until Thursday June 30.

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