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Suriname looks to replicate Guyana offshore oil boom

05 Jul 2017 21:27 (+01:00 GMT)
Suriname looks to replicate Guyana offshore oil boom

Kingston, 5 July (Argus) — Suriname is hoping the oil boom off neighboring Guyana can be replicated in its territorial waters.

State-owned Staatsolie concluded a production-sharing contract (PSC) for an offshore block with a consortium led by ExxonMobil, the US major that has found significant oil deposits off Guyana since 2015.

"There have been significant finds in the Liza wells off Guyana, but I am convinced we are on the eve of finding Liza's mother," Staatsolie's chief executive Rudolf Elias says.

The ExxonMobil-led consortium has been awarded block 59 and includes US independent Hess and Norway´s Statoil.

Staatsolie and Statoil signed a separate PSC for offshore block 60.

ExxonMobil will operate block 59, but declined to disclose individual shareholdings in the consortium nor a work schedule.

Offshore Guyana and Suriname forms part of the Guianas shield that runs from eastern Venezuela across Guyana and Suriname and into French Guiana. The US Geological Survey estimates that the region could contain 13.6bn bl of oil, 21.2 Tcf of natural gas, and 574mn bl of NGLs.

Block 59 covers 9,801 km2 and is located around 60km off the coast, in depths of 25–50m.

Statoil-operated block 60 covering 10,105 km2 is located about 50km off the coast in 15-25m of water.

ExxonMobil´s string of successful wells in Guyana started in May 2015, when it announced a discovery of more than 1bn barrels of oil equivalent (boe) at its Liza-1 well in the deepwater Stabroek block.

The company has drilled seven wells on Stabroek and says the block's gross recoverable resources are estimated at 2bn to 2.5bn boe. ExxonMobil will start production of about 120,000 b/d by 2020, it said.

There is no production yet from offshore Suriname. The country's crude production of 16,300 b/d comes from the onshore Tambaredjo and Calcutta fields, Staatsolie said.

Suriname has 92.5mn bl of proven reserves and 17.1mn bl of probable reserves, Elias said.

Other companies that have been awarded offshore blocks by Staatsolie over the past six years include Chevron, Inpex, Tullow Oil, Kosmos Energy, Murphy Oil, Cepsa, Apache, Petronas, and RWE.