Staatsolie eyes operatorship in Suriname’s shallow water blocks

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Staatsolie – Suriname’s state oil company – has its eyes set on becoming an operator in that nation’s shallow water blocks, according to its strategic goals 2022 through 2026.

In its updated 2021 year-end report, Staatsolie’s Vice President – Offshore, Glenn Corrie said the state entity has been taking crucial steps towards its aspiration of achieving operator status.

According to Corrie, Staatsolie’s main strategy in proving its value to international oil companies (IOCs) is to become masters of their oil basin.

He noted that Staatsolie in 2021, re-organised its offshore directorate by integrating geoscientists and petroleum engineers into a single pool to gather, analyse and interpret high-quality offshore data, subsurface resources and all necessary information to assess exploration and appraisal opportunities and maximise knowledge of the Suriname-Guyana Basin.

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“We are also deepening the geotechnical, software and other skills and talents of our people with methods including on-the-job training, hands-on sessions with specialists, training courses and secondments and participation in special projects at IOCs. Our intensive competency and capability development program is designed to identify and address any competency gaps,” the Vice President said.

And it is that deepening of expertise that Staatsolie is attributing the success of its shallow water bid round last year.

According to the report, Staatsolie inked an offshore Production Sharing Contract (PSC) with Chevron for Block 5 – located in shallow waters. Then in December, a farm-out agreement brought in Shell as a partner. That agreement marks the first ever for Staatsolie where it participates as an offshore partner with a 40% stake. Staatsolie, through its subsidiary – Paradise Oil Company – will be a non-operating partner.

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“This PSC and Joint Venture agreement provide prolific opportunities for Staatsolie to realize value and enhance its technical skills. The PSC carries Staatsolie through the exploration and appraisal stages and Staatsolie only begins financially contributing during the development stage, minimising financial exposure during the initial stages when risk is higher,” Corrie explained.

Staatsolie, officially Staatsolie Maatschappij Suriname was established to execute the nation’s oil policy which includes exploration, drilling and processing oil. In 2014, Staatsolie expanded its business to gold. Staatsolie is wholly state-owned.

The company plans to expend an estimated US$1.5 billion through 2026 as part of its Investment Program, the bulk of which will be for participation in offshore development. The funds will also be used to develop sustainable energy projects, as the world looks to move away from fossil fuels.

To support the planned spend, Staatsolie expects to refinance its corporate credit facility to further tap into the local, regional and international financial markets and explore commercial opportunities with international partners.


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