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Suriname’s state-run energy company Staatsolie has opened up bidding for 11 offshore areas in the country, according to a statement made on the company’s website.
Staatsolie Hydrocarbon Institute N.V. (SHI) announced on Tuesday a round of competitive bidding for 11 new offshore blocks known as SHO 2 Bid Round 2023-2024. The blocks are in nearshore to shallow areas, with water depths up to 150 meters. The area up for grabs lies south of the recent deepwater discoveries that were made in Block 58.
After those discoveries were made, it was speculated that Suriname had the potential to become the next Guyana, which has seen significant success in finding hydrocarbons. The consortium of Apache and TotalEnergies was responsible for finding five commercial discoveries. In September, TotalEnergies said it would kick off a $9 billion project on two sites that could year as much as 700 million barrels—or as much as 200,000 barrels per day, with production estimated to begin late 2028.
More recently, Malaysia’s Petronas discovered several oil-bearing layers in the exploration well in Suriname’s Block 52 off its coast, Staatsolie said last week.
But to date, Suriname’s oil prowess has encountered setback after setback, with TotalEnergies in January pushing back its FID for Block 58.
For Suriname, which has 70% of its inhabitants living below the poverty line and battling a 60% inflation rate, any oil development is welcomed, with Suriname’s President Chan Santokhi pinning his hopes for the impoverished country on a massive oil boom.
The Bid Round was launched on November 7, with bids required by May 31 of next year.
Staatsolie currently produces 17,000 bpd from onshore drilling.
By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com
Julianne Geiger is a veteran editor, writer and researcher for Oilprice.com, and a member of the Creative Professionals Networking Group.