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Suriname’s national oil company plans to issue bonds next year to fund offshore exploration, Reuters reports, quoting the company’s chief executive.
Suriname is a tiny country squeezed between Guyana and French Guiana in the northeast of South America. It is its neighbor Guyana that has made the country hopeful it could be home to oil riches.
Based on these hopes, the company, Staatsolie Maatschappij Suriname, wants to raise between US$1 billion and US$2 billion through a bond issue and also a share issue in either New York or London.
Right now, Staatsolie is expecting results from a prospect well in the shallow waters off its coast. These should come in within the next three weeks. Then, in September, Apache Corp. will start drilling another well in Suriname’s waters.
“Once we have that, and we know where to look for oil in our area, I expect that, like Guyana, we will get one find after another,” Staatsolie’s CEO, Rudolf Elias, said. “For Staatsolie, but also for Suriname, there are very exciting times ahead.”
Neighbor Guyana became one of the hot spots in global oil after a string of discoveries that Exxon and Hess announced. To date, these discoveries have revealed more than 5 billion barrels in untapped oil reserves offshore Guyana.
The Stabroek block is the place where the discoveries were made. The first ones came in 2015 and since then, Exxon has been announcing new ones on a more or less regular basis. To date, there have been 12 discoveries.
Earlier this week, Tullow Oil also announced a discovery offshore Guyana at the Jethro-1 well. The reservoir is estimated to hold about 100 million barrels of crude, which is more than Tullow expected.
Tullow and Exxon both have production sharing agreements with the Suriname state company even though there have not been any commercial oil discoveries yet. The shared hope of Staatsolie and the oil majors is that Guyana’s riches extend into Suriname waters.
By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com
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Irina is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing on the oil and gas industry.