Is this the most promising oil discovery hotspot on Earth?
ExxonMobil’s many major oil discoveries in off Guyana since 2015, the deeply impoverished former British colony has become a hotspot for offshore drilling activities. This has triggered considerable interest in the oil potential of neighboring Suriname. The former Dutch colony, which until July 2020 was embroiled in a series of scandals involving former President Desi Bouterse, shares the Guyana-Suriname basin. This pool is the focal point of one of the largest offshore drilling booms in the world, with recent discoveries indicating that it has oil potential greater than that assessed by the USGS in 2001. is poised to enjoy an epic oil boom of a magnitude potentially similar to that which occurs in Guyana where 2021 GDP increased by an astonishing 19.9%. This has the potential to significantly boost the economy of the impoverished former Dutch colony which has been heavily hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Offshore Suriname is believed to have considerable oil potential. TotalEnergies, which is the operator, and Apache, a 50% partner, have made a series of quality light oil discoveries in the Suriname Block 58 offshore. first was at the Maka Central-1 well which was drilled at a depth of 20,670 feet and found light oil and condensate with API gravities of 40 degrees to 60 degrees. The latest discovery was at the Krabdagu-1 well, located 11 miles southeast of the Sapakara South-1 appraisal well, which was drilled to a depth of 17,300 feet. This is the fifth quality find in Block 58 with 295 net feet. petroleum salary identified in what Apache describes as “good quality reservoirs”.
Recently, Apache announcement the successful flow test of the Krabdagu well. According to the US-based driller, the data indicates that there are oil resources of up to 180 million barrels. The crude oil found was identified as light with API gravities of 35 degrees to 37 degrees. This successful appraisal drilling comes after that of November 2021 announcement of a successful flow test at the Sapakara South appraisal well which identified a single oil reservoir containing 325-375 million barrels of light black oil with an API of 34 degrees.
Suriname’s Block 58 is believed to be located on the same oil channel that crosses Guyana’s Stabroek offshore block. It is here that Exxon, along with its partners Hess and CNOOC, has made more than 30 high-quality discoveries that are estimated to contain 11 billion barrels of recoverable petroleum resources. Latest Block 58 Developments Support Investment Bank Morgan Stanley calculations 2020 that it contains 6.5 billion barrels of oil equivalent resources. If this modeling proves correct, Block 58 will become the primary driver of Surname’s offshore oil boom. TotalEnergies and Apache continue operations aimed at defining the considerable potential held by Block 58 with plans to drill three more exploration and appraisal wells in the block in 2022. Following the completion of the Krabdagu exploration well , rate test drilling has begun on the Dikkop exploration well in the central part of Block 58. If sufficient petroleum resources are identified, a final investment decision is expected from TotalEnergies and Apache by end of 2022.
Exploration activities are not only taking place in Block 58, Apache announcement in mid-June 2022, the completion of drilling activities offshore Suriname Block 53. Apache with a 45% working interest is the operator of the block while Malaysian national oil company Petronas controls 30% and the 25% remaining are held by Spanish energy company Cepsa. Although no statement has been made as to whether crude oil has been discovered with the Rasper well drilled in the northwest segment of Block 53, appraisal activities are continuing. Apache also said there are plans to drill the Baja Wild Well in the southwest corner of Block 53 at a location approximately seven miles northeast of Krabdagu’s Block 58 discovery. In December 2020, Petronas, which is the operator, revealed that along with Exxon, a 50% partner, the discovery of oil in Block 52 offshore Suriname with the Sloanea-1 exploration well drilled to a depth of 15,682 feet.
The latest developments have demonstrated that Suriname’s nascent oil boom is gaining momentum. This will provide a significant fiscal and economic windfall to Paramaribo, which is still struggling to rebuild Suriname’s economy after being significantly affected by the pandemic. While according to IMF data all South American economies except Venezuela grew in 2021, Suriname’s decreased by 3.5%. Even in 2022, when many regional economies are expected to show robust growth, Suriname’s GDP is expected to grow by a meager 1.8%. These figures underscore the urgency with which Paramaribo must attract foreign energy investment and accelerate Surname’s burgeoning offshore oil boom.
By Matthew Smith for Oilprice.com
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