Exxon hunting for new Liza in Suriname

U.S. oil major Exxon Mobil has confirmed it has, with its partners Hess and Statoil, signed a production sharing contract for Block 59 with Staatsolie Maatschappij Suriname N.V., the national oil company of Suriname.

To remind, Staatsolie informed of the upcoming signing of the PSC two weeks ago, but with little detail.

The block adds significant acreage to ExxonMobil’s operated portfolio in the Guyana-Suriname Basin, Exxon said.

Deepwater Block 59 is in water depths ranging from nearly 2,000 meters to 3,600 meters, located approximately 190 miles (305 kilometers) offshore Suriname’s capital city, Paramaribo.

The block is 2.8 million acres, or 4,430 square miles, and shares a maritime border with Guyana, where ExxonMobil is the operator of three offshore blocks, including the world-class Liza field discovered by ExxonMobil in 2015. Exxon has recently made a Final Investment Decision for Liza, and has awarded an FPSO contract to SBM Offshore.

According to Statoil, Block 59 is a potential extension of the trend on which the Liza discovery was made in neighbouring Guyana.

Commenting on the Suriname acreage award, Steve Greenlee, president of ExxonMobil Exploration Company said: “We look forward to working with Staatsolie and our co-venturers to evaluate the potential of this new acreage. Adding this block enhances our leading global deepwater portfolio.”

Suriname represents a new country for ExxonMobil’s upstream business. The company has investments throughout South America. Following contract signing, the co-venturers are preparing to begin exploration activities, including acquisition and analysis of seismic data.

ExxonMobil and consortium partners Hess and Statoil each hold a third of the interest in the block. ExxonMobil is the operator.

Block 60


Separately, Statoil also signed a PSC for for Block 60, an area of 6,200 square kilometers, situated about 250 kilometers off the coast, in water depths of 800 down to 1,900 meters.

Block 60 sits adjacent to Tullow-operated Block 54, where Statoil is partner. Tullow is preparing to drill the Araku-1 wildcat exploration well in Block 54 later this year.   In both licenses, the first exploration phase includes commitment to acquiring 2D seismic data and conducting technical studies.

Thirty years


According to Staatsolie, the agreements are effective for thirty years. The full contract term has been divided into an exploration, a development and a production period.

For the exploration period, a minimum work program was agreed, during which geological research, seismic data collection and exploration drilling will be performed, among others.

The consortium and Statoil will pay all costs in the exploration phases, and these will only be paid back after a commercial discovery is made which is brought into production. The contract offers Staatsolie the possibility to participate for up to ten percent in the development and production phases, Staatsolie said.


Offshore Energy Today Staff

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