The appraisal drilling was done with the Maersk Valiant (now called Noble Valiant) drillship; Source: Noble Corporation

TotalEnergies eyes sanctioning of $9 billion oil project off Suriname next year

With the launch of development studies, France’s energy giant TotalEnergies is laying the groundwork to make a final investment decision (FID) for a large oil project in Block 58 offshore Suriname by the end of 2024.

The appraisal drilling was done with the Maersk Valiant (now called Noble Valiant) drillship; Source: Noble Corporation

TotalEnergies revealed the launching of the development studies for a giant oil project in Block 58 offshore Suriname on Wednesday, 13 September 2023. The French giant is the operator of Block 58, with a 50 per cent interest, alongside APA Corporation, which holds the remaining 50 per cent stake.

This comes following the appraisal of the two main oil discoveries – Sapakara South and Krabdagu – which was wrapped up in August 2023 with the drilling and testing of three wells. As a result, combined recoverable resources of close to 700 million barrels were confirmed for the two fields.

The reserves, located in water depths between 100 and 1,000 metres, are expected to be produced through a system of subsea wells connected to a floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel located 150 km off the Suriname coast, with an oil production capacity of 200,000 barrels per day.

Patrick Pouyanné, Chairman and CEO of TotalEnergies, commented: “The Block 58 development studies that we are launching today are a major step towards the development of the petroleum resources of Suriname. This development is in line with TotalEnergies’ strategy aiming at the development of low-cost, low-emissions oil resources, and leverages on our company’s expertise in deep water projects. We will thus contribute to improving the well-being of the people of Suriname.”

According to the French oil major, this project will represent an investment of approximately $9 billion and the detailed engineering (FEED) studies will begin by year-end. The final investment decision is expected by the end of next year. The first production is targeted for 2028.

Chandrikapersad Santokhi, President of the Republic of Suriname, remarked: “Suriname is going through a challenging economic period. This announcement provides the much-needed outlook towards positive developments for our nation. We are confident that the Surinamese people will benefit from the economic spin-off that will be generated in the next phases.

“Local entrepreneurs will have to seize the opportunities to provide their services and goods. We will make sure that future income from the offshore oil and gas will be spent wisely. Those incomes will contribute to the prosperity and stability fund, and will be a means to diversify our economy by developing sustainable sectors such as agriculture and tourism.”

Furthermore, TotalEnergies claims to be committed to developing this project in “a responsible manner,” ensuring benefits in terms of job creation and economic activities for Suriname and using the best available technologies to minimise greenhouse gas emissions, contributing to the expansion of the energy transition story.

In line with this, the facilities will be designed for zero flaring, with the associated gas entirely reinjected into the reservoirs. The oil major intends to continue working closely with the national oil company Staatsolie during the upcoming development and production phases to reinforce the actions in favour of local content. This has so far enabled the training of more than 80 people for logistic base operations in Paramaribo during the exploration and appraisal phases.

Annand Jagesar, CEO of Staatsolie, stated: “Our company was set up to find, develop and produce oil in the offshore. It took huge efforts, great patience, and excellent partners to come to this long-awaited moment. We see the momentum, increased understanding of the basin, and diligent execution as key elements for further unlocking the Block 58 and Suriname basin potential in a responsible way.”

TotalEnergies has been present in Suriname since 2019 in Block 58, where five significant discoveries have been made and is also exploring Blocks 6 and 8 since 2023.

Related Article

The French giant is actively searching for more hydrocarbons, as demonstrated by its multi-well appraisal and exploration drilling programme in Namibia, which is being undertaken with two rigs.