Noble Discoverer (former Maersk Discoverer) rig; Source: Noble Corp.

Petronas and ExxonMobil find more oil offshore Suriname

Petronas Suriname E&P, a subsidiary of Malaysia’s energy giant Petronas, and ExxonMobil Exploration and Production Suriname, an affiliate of the U.S. oil major ExxonMobil, have made an oil discovery at an exploration well in Block 52 offshore Suriname.

Noble Discoverer (former Maersk Discoverer) rig; Source: Noble Corp.

The Roystonea-1 well, located about 185 kilometers offshore in a water depth of 904 meters, was successfully drilled to a total depth of 5,315 meters. According to Petronas, the well encountered several oil-bearing Campanian sandstone reservoir packages. As a result, further evaluation is being undertaken to determine the full extent of the discovery and its potential development synergy with the Sloanea-1 discovery made in 2020 within the same block.

Mohd Redhani Abdul Rahman, Petronas Vice President of Exploration, remarked: “The success of Roystonea-1 is expected to drive further exploration for commercially viable hydrocarbon resources in the surrounding areas. Petronas will continue to work closely with the host authority, Staatsolie, and partners to unlock Suriname’s hydrocarbon potential. We look forward to implementing safe and successful future exploration programs together.”

Petronas believes that this discovery is a result of its ongoing efforts towards ensuring energy security to meet the growing global energy demands. Covering an area of 4,749 square kilometers, Block 52 is located within the prospective Suriname-Guyana basin, approximately 75 miles offshore north of Suriname’s capital city, Paramaribo.

The water depth at the block ranges from 160 to 3,600 feet (50 to 1,100 meters). Petronas Suriname E&P is the operator with a 50% stake while ExxonMobil Exploration and Production Suriname holds the remaining 50% interest. Petronas hired Noble Corporation’s Noble Discoverer semi-submersible rig on a one-well contract in July 2023 to drill an exploration well in Block 52. The drilling activities were slated to start in August 2023. The deal also came with a one-well extension option.

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Datuk Adif Zulkifli, Petronas Executive Vice President and Chief Executive Officer of Upstream, commented: “Petronas views the Roystonea-1 oil discovery as a positive development towards realizing our differentiated barrel strategy for international upstream ventures, focusing on a material discovery with minimal contaminants.”

In addition to Block 52, Petronas Suriname E&P operates Block 48 with 100% participating interest and acts as a partner with 30% non-operating participating interest in the adjacent Block 53 where the Baja-1 oil discovery was made in 2022.