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Apache, Total Make New Major Oil Discovery Offshore Suriname

French Total and Apache Corp have made a new, major oil discovery in the offshore Block 58 in Suriname, the two companies said.

“We are thrilled with the results from the Kwaskwasi-1 exploration well. This is the best well we’ve drilled in the basin to date, with the highest net pay in the best quality reservoirs,” Apache chief executive John J. Christmann said. “While we have a lot more work to do, a discovery of this quality and magnitude merits a pace of evaluation that enables the option of accelerated first production.”

This is the third oil discovery at Block 58, Reuters notes, and now the companies, which share the rights to the block 50/50, will move on to a fourth prospect in the block. Total entered Block 58 last year after it bought half of the project from Apache.

The block is part of the prolific Guyana-Suriname Basin and neighbors the Stabroek block, which has so far yielded a dozen oil discoveries, made by Exxon and Hess, tapping a reservoir containing more than 5 billion barrels of crude.

The first offshore oil discovery in Suriname was made in Block 58, from the Maka 1 well, in January this year. At the time, observers commented that this could spur a new oil rush, this time in Suriname, which could boost the investment attractiveness of neighbor Guyana.

Then oil prices collapsed and the pandemic spread, and news about exploration and discoveries grew scarce. And yet, half a dozen companies have already received licenses for exploration offshore Suriname, including Exxon, Petronas, Tullow Oil, and Norway’s Equinor.

The tiny country has estimated oil reserves of 92.5 million barrels, according to its state oil company Staatsolie, and some 17.1 million barrels of probable oil reserves. It currently operates just one producing field, Tambaredjo, which pumps around 16,300 bpd.

By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com

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