Suriname awards deepwater blocks to TotalEnergies, Shell, Petronas, QatarEnergy
Staatsolie, Suriname’s state oil company, announced on December 15, that it has signed three production sharing contracts (PSC) for the offshore deepwater blocks 63, 64, and 65. The blocks were part of the Demerara bid round held from November 2022 to May 2023. Staatsolie said the contracts from the bids were signed after negotiations with selected partners and that the Demerara bid round was part of its strategy to sign PSCs for as many offshore areas as possible.
A PSC has been signed for block 63. Petronas has a 100% operating interest in Block 63. The block has an area of 5,425 square kilometers (sq. km) and is located in water depths of up to 1,300 m.
As for block 64, it was signed away to a consortium in which TotalEnergies will operate the block with a 40% participating interest while the remaining interest is split equally between QatarEnergy and Petronas. It has an area of 6,262 sq. km.
As for Block 65, that block was signed to BG International which is a subsidiary of Shell. So Shell will own 60% interest in the block and be the operator while QatarEnergy will own a 40% stake in Block 65.
Blocks 64 and 65 are both located about 200 to 250 km offshore Suriname in water depths of about 1,300 to 1,700 m.
Staatsolie said the exploration period consists of three phases and will last seven years. An exploration well will be drilled in both block 64 and block 65 in the first phase, which will last three years. In block 63, the first exploration well follows in the second phase of the exploration period. In the event of an oil or gas discovery that is declared commercial, Staatsolie has the right to participate in all three blocks for a maximum of 20% from the development period. The PSCs, which are valid for thirty years, were signed away by Staatsolie’s General Manager, Annand Jagesar.
Staatsolie’s Shallow Offshore 2 Bid Round is currently underway for eleven blocks in the shallow sea area, the so-called shallow offshore. This area is located south of the deepwater oil and gas discoveries and north of Staatsolie’s production fields in the Saramacca district and has water depths of up to 150 meters.
In Suriname, TotalEnergies operates Block 58 (50%) where five discoveries have been made and where development studies are in progress, with the objective of sanctioning a 200,000 b/d oil project by end 2024. With this first offshore oil development, Suriname is beginning to replicate nearby Guyana’s oil boom.