Two more potential Suriname developments could follow TotalEnergies’ Block 58 lead

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With planning underway for TotalEnergies’ first development in Suriname at Block 58, analysts at Rystad Energy and Wood Mackenzie are looking at two additional projects that can potentially follow.

The first is a potential oil development at the nearby Block 52. Petronas’ Roystonea-1 and Fusaea-1 discoveries in this acreage offshore Suriname are estimated to hold recoverable resources approaching 400 million barrels, according to WoodMac.

“This could be enough to support a [floating production storage and offloading vessel] with an oil processing capacity of up to 100,000 [barrels per day] b/d,” Mark Oberstoetter, Head of Americas Upstream at Wood Mackenzie, said. 

The second potential development was examined by Rystad Energy, a gas project based on the Sloanea discovery at Block 52. Petronas discovered Sloanea-1 in 2020 at the same block. It also spudded the Sloanea-2 appraisal well in April. The results of this will determine the feasibility of a commercial gas field. 

Rystad Energy sees Suriname’s first standalone gas project potentially materializing as early as 2031, at Block 52. Aiding the Block 52 operator is the 10-year tax break from the government in a letter of agreement (LoA) to encourage gas development.

“Supported by ongoing appraisal efforts, this LoA is pivotal in evaluating gas production feasibility, potentially facilitating Suriname’s earliest natural gas production by 2031,” Rystad Energy said.

The LoA also delineates the framework for gas reserve development within Block 52. It paves the way for negotiations, including adding a ‘gas addendum’ to the existing production-sharing contract signed in 2013. Petronas had hinted at a floating liquid natural gas (FLNG) project

Petronas Suriname E&P is the operator of Block 52 with a 50% participating interest. ExxonMobil Exploration and Production Suriname B.V. holds the other 50%.

These developments could add to the oil bounty already expected for Suriname when TotalEnergies achieves first oil at Block 58.

Together with APA, the oil major plans to plug US$9 billion to extract oil from the Sapakara South and Krabdagu fields, containing some 700 million barrels. An FPSO with the capacity to produce 200,000 b/d will be utilized, connected to subsea wells. A field development plan is expected to be submitted for approval later this year. 

Staatsolie estimates it will receive royalties, profit oil and taxes totaling US$16-26 billion over the anticipated two-decade period of the project. To buttress its earnings, Staatsolie plans to claim a right to participate in the project with a 20% stake. 

Suriname has a lot riding on the Block 58 project, given its uphill trek to recover its economy. The government has restructured debts, tying them to future oil production by agreeing to repay with royalties. 

When Total announced the project, President Chandrikapersad Santokhi said, “Suriname is going through a challenging economic period. This announcement provides the much-needed outlook towards positive developments for our nation.” 

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