Celebrations on the horizon as Suriname’s first deepwater oil project just months away from sanctioning

Suriname is abuzz with energy. And hope too, as the country’s first offshore oil development is set to be sanctioned in a matter of months.

Thanks to successful hits in Suriname’s Block 58, operator TotalEnergies is forging full steam ahead with plans to see first oil emerge by 2028 from a floating production, storage and offloading vessel (FPSO) churning out 200,000 barrels per day (b/d).

And the celebrations have started.

At the opening day of Suriname’s flagship Energy Summit and Exhibition, President Chandrikapersad Santokhi’s excitement for his people and country could not be hidden.

The expected revenue from offshore oil production is estimated in the billions. And this means a lot to the small South American nation with just around 600,000 people.

The people’s interests are being represented by the state oil company Staatsolie. Deepwater is a new task to tackle. But Staatsolie has been producing oil onshore for over 40 years. And it is ready to head to deep waters.

“Staatsolie is pleased to be carrying out this project with an international partner with a good reputation. It is important that Suriname benefits optimally from the cash flows, and it is therefore time for all stakeholders in Suriname to commit to a clear plan to manage future resources in such a way that a bright future is created for the entire Surinamese population,” the company said in a statement on June 5, moments after TotalEnergies signaled that it made “good progress” towards the FID.

Staatsolie’s Managing Director, Annand Jagesar called on policymakers to “step up” to see that the country is transformed by oil revenues in a sustainable way that will see benefits meet every citizen.

TotalEnergies is big on sustainability. The company said it is committed to developing the project responsibly using the best technologies to minimize greenhouse gas emissions. A Tesla-like FPSO is what it envisions for Suriname, one designed for zero routine flaring, with associated gas re-injected into the reservoirs.

“We are glad to progress together with Staatsolie and APA towards the FID of Block 58, which will be the next milestone in the partnership between Suriname and TotalEnergies. Our Company is deploying advanced technologies to minimize the environmental impact and maximize resource recovery, while focusing on ensuring economic benefits for the country,” said Javier Rielo, Senior Vice President Americas, Exploration & Production at TotalEnergies.

The company also eyes enhanced local content benefits for Suriname.

In the exploration and appraisal phases, TotalEnergies had over 80 Surinamese trained for logistics operations in the capital, Paramaribo.

Suriname is about to embark on a journey like its neighbour Guyana. With its three developments online so far and 11 billion barrels in recoverable resources, Guyana is headed to become the second largest producer in Latin America.

And if Suriname makes all the right moves, it could rise above the ranks and cement its place in the global oil industry.

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