Petronas, Shell, QatarEnergy and TotalEnergies Sign Suriname Offshore Contracts
12.16.2023 By Tank Terminals - NEWS

December 16, 2023 [Reuters]- Shell (SHEL.L), TotalEnergies (TTEF.PA), QatarEnergy and Petronas on Friday signed production-sharing contracts with Suriname state firm Staatsolie for three offshore blocks, expanding foreign participation in the nascent oil producing country.


Suriname in November 2022 launched a bidding round for up to six offshore blocks near projects where oil and gas reserves have been found, and received bids until the end of May. The nation produces crude onshore, but has not begun offshore output.

The South American country is now awarding exploration and production rights on the northeastern margin of the Suriname-Guyana Basin, following two previous auctions in recent years in shallow and deep waters and the planning of large projects.

Shell, TotalEnergies, QatarEnergy and Petronas are already present in Suriname, exploring other blocks. TotalEnergies is expected to make a final investment decision next year on the country’s most promising area, Block 58, which is expected to secure $9 billion in investment.

“This new block fits perfectly with our strategy, which is to focus our exploration activity on low-cost, low-emission material resources in key areas for the company,” said TotalEnergies’ Exploration Director, Kevin McLachlan, in a release.

The exploration period for the three awarded blocks is about seven years. Staatsolie can participate in the projects as an equity partner if commercial discoveries are made.

In blocks 64 and 65, the groups led by TotalEnergies and Shell have offered to drill an exploration well in the first three years, said aid Annand Jagesar, Staatsolie’s managing director.

“That’s a very aggressive program,” he added.

For the next round, Staatsolie plans to upgrade the three blocks that did not receive bids with seismic testing, Jagesar said.

He also said companies in Suriname are trying harder to keep emissions as low as possible by installing electrical systems on the drilling rigs and production platforms, and by adopting “nature-based solutions” including planting mangrove to take emissions out.

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