In the district Nickerie traces of oil have been found in the late twinties, but it is only forty years later, before oil is really found. Suriname is not in a favorable position to develop the oil sector, but in the 1970s the oil potential in Suriname is interesting for multinationals due to the oil crisis. When exploration drilling does not deliver the expected result, Staatsolie does not hesitate to develop the oil industry itself.
Our slogan 'Confidence in our own abilities has everything to do with the fact that Suriname decided to develop the oil industry by itself. With the establishment of Staatsolie on 13 December 1980, Suriname took the first big step in that direction. Initially, as a state vehicle Staatsolie was established to execute the oil policy. That policy stipulates that foreign oil companies can only explore for and eventually produce oil through service contracts with Staatsolie. In order to gain the necessary knowledge and experience, our first CEO Eddyie Jharap decided to exploit the oil discoveries in Saramacca. From that point on Staatsolie searches for and produces oil independently and also acts as an agent of the state.
While drilling for water on a school yard in Calcutta (Saramacca), oil is struck at a depth of 160 meters.
In May the government appoints the Oil Commission, chaired by geologist Eduard ‘Eddie’ Jharap.
Commercial oil production starts on 25 November in the Tambaredjo oil field in Saramacca. The production starts at 200 barrels a day.
With a loan secured from a consortium of local banks, Staatsolie sets up production facilities and infrastructure at Catharina Sophia (Saramacca), and purchases its first oil tanker.
The first rotational pump ('moyno') is installed. This type of pump replaces the pump jack.
Construction of the underground pipeline from Saramacca to Tout Lui Faut commences in January. The line becomes operational in August
In February President Ronald Venetiaan gives the starting signal for construction of the refinery. That same day the company signed a US$ 36 million loan contract with a consortium of banks consisting of ABN-AMRO Bank and EFAG Bank (a subsidiary of the Swiss ABB concern). ABB Lummus Global from the Netherlands is awarded the contract for building the refinery.
In July Staatsolie commences drilling of production wells in the Tambaredjo.
The refinery is officially operational.
The production is 8000 barrels per day.
On June 4th Managing Director Eddie Jharap is fired by the sole shareholder (the Republic of Suriname), for opposing the selling of Staatsolie to Korean investor Daewoo. Jharap takes to court and wins his case on June 29th. His unfair dismissal is then reversed.
Start for the construction of a 22 kilometers pipeline from the refinery at Tout Lui Faut to Suriname Aluminum Company (Suralco) at Paranam.
By securing 30% of the shares, Staatsolie becomes co-owner of Ventrin Petroleum Company Limited, a Trinidadian bunkering firm supplying services to the ships at Point Lisas and other ports in Trinidad & Tobago.
In December Staatsolie commemorates its 25th birthday. Among others a monument at the Staatsolie headquarters is unveiled and a commemorative book is published,
Also, Managing Director Eddie Jharap is bestowed the highest national award and received the big ribbon in the honorary order of the Yellow Star.
The supervisory board appoints Marc Waaldijk as Managing Director in February
The Calcutta oil field is put into production.
Ronald Venetiaan inaugurates the Staatsolie Power Company Suriname in August.
The 1,000th well is put into production in the Tambaredjo field.
The Staatsolie Foundation for Community Development was founded in February. The organization carries out sustainable projects to serve the Surinamese society.
The polymer injection project installations are officially made operational in October. By injecting the polymer in the oil reservoir, oil is driven towards nearby production wells, resulting in more oil being produced by the reservoir.
The ethanol pilot project commences in December in Wageningen Nickerie. Thirteen sugar cane varieties are tested to determine the one suitable for producing bio fuel.
Staatsolie acquires the Chevron/Texaco operations in Suriname.
After 40 years the Texaco brand is replaced by GOw2. In December the gas station at the Van ’t Hogerhuysstraat receives the colors, the logo and the furnishing of the new GOw2 identity.
On 22 July Staatsolie produces the 100 millionth barrel of oil, over 30 years after the first barrel was pumped up from the Tambaredjo field on 25 November 1982.
After two years of preparations, the capacity of the Staatsolie Power Company Suriname (SPCS) is expanded to 62 megawatt. On 28 February, the expanded thermal power station is officially in operation.