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Suriname in Talks with Exxon, TotalEnergies For Natural Gas Development

Suriname’s state-owned Staatsolie has begun early talks with ExxonMobil and French TotalEnergies for the possible joint development of natural gas fields in the Guyana-Suriname basin, Staatsolie Managing Director Annand Jagesar told Reuters on the sidelines of the Houston CERAWEeek conference. 

With first oil production still several years in the future following initial discoveries offshore Suriname, the country is hoping to become both a major oil producer and a regional gas hub. 

"We've been talking to Total. They don't see an opportunity to make a feasible project as of yet from Maka and Kwaskwasi (two discoveries off its coast). Joining the Guyana and Suriname explorations, our projects, we can make that scale", Jagesar told Reuters. 

Jagesar described the Equatorial Margin, a belt of offshore oil and gas reserves running from Brazil to Guyana, as the “golden lane”. 

"The sweet spot is in Guyana, that's the best reservoir... It looks like we have more gas," Jagesar was quoted as saying. 

Earlier this month, Exxon and Malaysia’s state-run Petronas said they would extend exploration for a gas discovery off the coast of Suriname, with reports indicating that a floating liquefied natural gas (LNG) project is also under consideration. 

Exxon and Petronas made a gas discovery in 2020 in Block 52 that was considered commercially unattractive, while discoveries have been made in Block 58 by French TotalEnergies and Apache Corporation. TotalEnergies is set to make a final investment decision for the $9-billion development of Block 58 this year, with 2028 targeted for first production. 

Exploration in Guyana has been more successful, to date, with the Exxon-led consortium there having already confirmed more than 11 billion barrels of recoverable resources and eyeing 1.2 million barrels per day of production by 2027.

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By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com

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