Suriname’s state energy company, Staatsolie, said offshore activity is being followed with great interest both locally and internationally. In 2023, the company expects there to be multi-block exploration, seismic tests, and new license awards.
Suriname’s ongoing Demerara area competitive bid round involves six deepwater blocks. The blocks lie to the east of the current offshore discoveries and have water depths ranging from 400 to 3,500 metres. International oil and gas companies can make a bid until 31 May 2023. Suriname plans to award production sharing contracts (PSC) by the third quarter of 2023.
As for licenses already in force, Staatsolie said the results for an exploration well that was drilled in Block 42 are encouraging for further exploration activities in the block. Block 42 is held by Shell, Chevron and Hess.
In Block 53, a discovery was made last year. Staatsolie said evaluation of the drilling results is ongoing, and APA Corporation (operator) will soon indicate how the Baja-1 find will be further explored.
Exploration wells for the 2023 work programme have been identified in Block 52, held by Petronas and ExxonMobil. At the same time, it is being investigated how the earlier Sloanea-1 gas find in 2020 can be appraised and possibly developed as a commercial production field.
Staatsolie expressed optimism that Block 58 partners, TotalEnergies and APA Corporation, will make a final investment decision for the development of a field based on discoveries made there. It said the exploration success rate of the block (60%) is excellent by world standards. Total has given no indication that it is ready to commit to Suriname.
One of the largest seismic surveys in the world is currently taking place in Suriname, Staatsolie said. A consortium of three international companies is collecting high-resolution three-dimensional (3D) seismic data in the 22,000 km² shallow sea area of Suriname. The area is located south of the deep offshore, up to 140 kilometres from the coast with water depths of 30 to 75 metres. Staatsolie said the collected 3D seismic data will contribute to further exploration of the shallow offshore. The project started in October 2021. The first phase and part of the second phase were completed in 2022.
Staatsolie signed a production sharing contract with Chevron for the shallow offshore block 7 in April 2022. Staatsolie has a participating interest of 20% through its subsidiary Paradise Oil Company N.V. (POC). To this end, POC and Chevron have entered into a Joint Operating Agreement (JOA).