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Suriname is preparing to tender some 60 percent of its offshore blocks over the next 12 months, Reuters reported this week, citing a vice-president of the state oil firm, Staatsolie.
The first tender is planned for the fourth quarter of this year, Glenn Corrie told Reuters.
Suriname is the neighbor to Guyana, the hottest new oil spot in the world where Exxon and Hess have made a string of discoveries in recent years totaling billions of crude oil in untapped reserves. Exxon eyes production of 1.2 million bpd from just one block in Guyana by 2027.
The Guyana deposits are part of the Guyana-Suriname Basin, which Staatsolie's Corrie called "the hottest basin in the world", adding that "Our objective over the course of the next 12 months is to license the next round of all that acreage and put it into the hands of operators."
Hopes are running high, but Suriname has yet to replicate the Guyana boom. Still, TotalEnergies earlier this year announced that it had made a significant discovery off the shore of Suriname—the fifth in the country. The company has yet to make its final investment decision on the project after appraisal drilling.
According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the Guyana-Suriname Basin could hold up to 32.6 billion barrels of undiscovered oil resources, underscoring the tremendous hydrocarbon potential that the countries share. It is estimated that Suriname's offshore oil discoveries held recoverable oil resources of nearly 2 billion barrels as of the end of 2021.
Suriname last year held a shallow water tender that saw three exploration blocks awarded to TotalEnergies, Chevron, and Qatar Petroleum, which partnered with the French supermajor on two blocks. Now, plans appear to be much more ambitious, especially after another tender, scheduled for October last year, failed to result in any winning bids.
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.