Staatsolie begins near-shore drill campaign in Suriname

The West Castor drilling platform

Suriname state oil company Staatsolie began a near-shore drill campaign on Tuesday with the West Castor drilling platform.

Waterkant reports that this involves drilling, where Marai is the first well off the Surinamese coast. A test drilling of the American Apache will follow in the deep-sea area later this year and Kosmos and Tullow Oil will follow there next year.

According to Waterkant, the Marai well lies about twenty kilometers off the coast, in front of Saramacca. With a water depth of 19 meters, it is one of the shallower wells off the Surinamese coast. A total of nine wells are being targeted from east to west.

The entire operation will cost the company around US $ 100 million. If commercially viable reserves are found, it will take between three and five years for the oil to be brought up.

ExxonMobil’s success in neighbouring Guyana, where the company has found more than 5.5 billion barrels of oil equivalent, has raised hopes in Suriname of a major offshore discovery.

OilNOW reported in March that Houston-based Apache Corporation is set to spud its first well offshore Suriname by mid-year in Block 58 which sits adjacent to sections of the prolific Stabroek Block. Apache has completed a substantial geologic and geophysical evaluation of Block 58 and has identified numerous, large, drill-ready prospects across multiple different play concepts.

Kosmos Energy hit two dry holes in a row last year; Anapai in June and Pontoenoe, in October. Anapai was fully tested and encountered high quality reservoirs in the targeted zones but did not find hydrocarbons while a high-quality reservoir was encountered at Pontoenoe-1 in Block 42, but the primary exploration objective proved to be water bearing.

Despite these disappointments, joint venture partners operating in the Dutch-speaking South American country are looking at “large prospects” in Block 42 which they intend to test in 2020.