Suriname puts three deepwater exploration blocks up for bid

Suriname’s state-owned oil concern Staatsolie has put out three deepwater blocks for bids. The blocks—58, 59, and 60—lie east of Suriname in what is known as the Suriname-Guyana basin.

The basin is characterized by the presence of a world-class source rock of Cenomanian-Turonian age: the Canje formation. This source rock is the lateral equivalent of the La Luna shale in Venezuela and Naparima in Trinidad and Tobago.

Oil from this source has been produced from the Tambaredjo, Calcutta, and Tambaredjo Northwest oil fields onshore Suriname.

Some of the characteristics of the Cenomanian-Turonian source rock are thickness: up to 550 m, the quantity of organic carbon—both kerogen and bitumen—in a rock sample 4-7% in shelf break setting, with as much as 30% in deepwater setting.

The maturity model of the rock in the Suriname-Guyana basin shows a model with the onset of maturity as early as 40 ma in the east, to 45 ma in the west. Further it is believed that the oil has migrated from the deep water to the land and that is why crude is already being produced on the land and continental shelf. The migration distance, mainly south-southeast is through Cretaceous and Early Tertiary channels with a migration distance of up to 100-150 km.

Block 58 is 5,844 sq km and lies in 55-250 m of water. Block 59 is larger at 9,800,52 sq km and lies in 25-50 m of water. Block 60, meanwhile, is 10,105 sq km and lies in 15-55 m of water.

Marny Daal-Vogeeland, Staatsolie’s manager of petroleum contracts, said she expects significant interest in the bid round, which closes in January 2015. She said her optimism was based on the fact that the oil and gas companies were asked to decide which blocks they would be interested in before the blocks were put out for bids.

In an interview with OGJ, Dall-Vogeeland said, “I think there will be significant interest because we had a nomination process and we asked the major oil and gas companies to tell us what blocks they wanted us to put out and they nominated a number of blocks and we chose the best three that had their support and met with our overall strategy.”

She said the blocks offer enough room to explore and based on the available data, Staatsolie has identified several play concepts and attractive leads.

There are several successful oil companies preparing to drill offshore Suriname including Apache Corp. and Tullow Oil PLC.

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