Staatsolie started exploration drilling off the coast of Suriname on 1 April 2019. Five to nine exploration wells will be drilled in the nearshore in the next ten months.
With the drilling of the first well, Marai, the implementation phase of the Nearshore Drilling Project has started. Depending on the water depth and soil conditions, a minimum of five and a maximum of nine exploration wells will be drilled in the nearshore, the sea area up to forty kilometers off the coast with water depths up to 30 meters. The area that will be drilled extends from Commewijne in the east to the border with Guyana in the west, a total area of 11,250 km2. The location and depth of the wells have been determined after months of careful analysis of data.
Preparations for drilling of the wells were made in 2017 and 2018. A social and environmental impact study was carried out during that period and a detailed design was made of the wells. The three main contracts for the project were also tendered. Measures have been taken to guarantee the safety of employees and to prevent damage to the environment. The various stakeholders, in particular fishermen, have been extensively informed about the activities. The past three months have been focused mainly on mobilization of people and equipment, including the transport of the West Castor drilling platform from Mexico to the first drilling location in Suriname.
With the implementation of the Nearshore Drilling Project, Staatsolie wants to identify possible oil reserves in the nearshore. These reserves are necessary for the maintenance of Staatsolie's long-term production. However, a possible oil and / or gas discovery does not mean that production can be started immediately. Further research will have to be done into the volumes of the reserves and whether it is economically justified to produce them. If the results of the studies are positive and the decision is made to invest, it may take at least another five years before the first oil or gas production takes place.
Paramaribo, 2 April 2019
Staatsolie Corporate Communication