Suriname businesses urged to adopt international standards ahead of oil boom

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Suraya Jiawan-Nanan, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Haukes Construction Company in Suriname, is urging local businesses to elevate their standards to meet international requirements as the country prepares for a surge in its oil industry. 

Jiawan-Nanan, at the recent Suriname Energy Oil and Gas Summit, emphasized that achieving these standards is essential not just for the oil sector, but for the overall economic development of Suriname.

“Getting your company up to standards is not a choice; it is a must if you want to be part of the industry,” Jiawan-Nanan states. She highlighted that businesses must adapt to the stringent standards required by the oil and gas industry, which will have a ripple effect on various other sectors such as infrastructure, agriculture, and education.

Push local content, don’t forget about Suriname’s other sectors – Business Development CEO | OilNOW 

Haukes Construction, an engineering, procurement, and construction contractor, has already aligned itself with international standards, being ISO 9001:2015 certified. Jiawan-Nanan noted, “We make the international standards our own standards, just to be qualified for every project.” This approach has enabled the company to serve Suriname’s state-owned oil company Staatsolie onshore for 15 years and positions them to support offshore projects as well.

She advised businesses to also focus on training and development to bridge the skills gap in Suriname. “Training is very challenging in Suriname, especially if projects require specified training,” she explained. Haukes Construction established its own training company to meet this need, offering courses in defensive driving, safety training, working at heights, and confined space training, among others.

Jiawan-Nanan also stressed the importance of collaboration among local businesses. “We need to collaborate to learn from each other just to supply the oil and gas what they are asking for,” she says. This cooperative approach, she believes, will enhance the overall capability and readiness of Surinamese businesses to participate in the impending oil boom.

Suriname’s first offshore development project is pegged at US$9 billion and will be executed by TotalEnergies alongside APA Corporation. Both hold 50% shares in Block 58. Total is the operator. A final investment decision (FID) is expected to be issued before the end of the year. 

Currently, Suriname’s resource count stands at approximately 4.6 billion oil-equivalent barrels according to Wood Mackenzie. A significant portion of this is gas. Alongside Suriname’s first oil development, a possible gas project is being considered by Petronas which operates Block 52. Discoveries have been made there, two of which hold the potential to see a 100,000-barrel-per-day development.

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