Document signing ceremony; Source: Staatsolie Maatschappij Suriname (Staatsolie)

Trinidad and Tobago looking to buy gas from Suriname’s offshore fields

Suriname’s state-owned oil company Staatsolie Maatschappij Suriname (Staatsolie), and the National Energy Corporation of Trinidad and Tobago (National Energy), a subsidiary of the country’s National Gas Company, have signed a letter of intent (LoI) to cooperate in the area of natural gas and a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to build solar power plants in one of the two countries.

Document signing ceremony; Source: Staatsolie Maatschappij Suriname (Staatsolie)

The deals were inked on June 4, 2024, by National Energy Corporation President, Vernon Paltoo, and Staatsolie Managing Director, Annand Jagesar. Building on the 2023 MoU between the two countries, the documents highlight the commitment to reinforcing their respective energy sectors.

The MoU and the LoI are described as a testament to the bilateral relationship between the two South American countries, demonstrating their shared willingness to work on improving their energy sectors and economic development, as well as energy security.

The LoI is meant to build capacity and foster knowledge exchange in the natural gas arena. In this context, Trinidad and Tobago has expressed an interest in buying future gas from Suriname’s offshore fields while Staatsolie aims to learn from its partner’s experience in the transportation, sale, and local use of natural gas areas.

The two companies also intend to develop sustainable energy projects together. This was the reason for signing the MoU, which encompasses agreements for conducting feasibility studies to jointly build solar power plants in one or both countries. 

The first such project entails exploring the options to install solar power plants in Suriname with the ability to generate more than 45 megawatt-peak (MWp) electricity. This is said to be sufficient for over 14,000 average households.

Suriname’s waters have been bustling with activity lately. A final investment decision (FID) for a giant oil project in Block 58, a 50–50 development between TotalEnergies as the operator and APA Corporation, is scheduled for 4Q 2024. When this happens, Staatsolie can join with up to 20% interest, with production start-up expected in 2028.

Last week, TotalEnergies made a hull reservation with SBM Offshore for a floating production storage and offloading (FPSO) unit, which will be deployed at the project. The French giant also bought stakes in Block 6 and Block 8 together with QatarEnergy, thus increasing its footprint in the country.

Related Article

Aside from that, another hydrocarbon discovery in Block 52 was made by affiliates of Petronas and ExxonMobil in Suriname. This is said to be the third such discovery since 2020, with studies underway to determine its full potential.