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Chevron, TotalEnergies, Qatar Petroleum submit top bids for shallow-water blocks

Blocks 5, 6 and 8 are the closest to Block 58
Blocks 5, 6 and 8 are the closest to Block 58

Suriname’s national oil company (NOC) Staatsolie has concluded the Shallow Offshore Bid Round by awarding three shallow-water offshore blocks to Chevron (US) and a consortium set up by TotalEnergies (France) and Qatar Petroleum.

Staatsolie named Chevron and the consortium as the winning bidders in the licensing round on June 18. It reported that the US company had submitted the best offer for the shallow-water site known as Block 5, while TotalEnergies and Qatar Petroleum had made the best offers for Blocks 6 and 8.

The NOC did not divulge the terms of these bids, but it did say that it had begun negotiations with the companies. “Staatsolie and the successful bidders are now in the process of concluding production-sharing contracts (PSCs) for the relevant blocks and will make further announcements once the PSCs are awarded,” it explained.

The company opened the bidding contest late last November and stopped accepting offers on April 30 of this year. It intends to take a 20% equity stake in each new PSC it signs and will require investors to collect 3-D seismic data from their licence areas during the first phase of exploration, before proceeding to exploration drilling in the second phase.

According to previous reports, Suriname received 10 bids for three of the eight blocks included in the Shallow Offshore Bid Round. All three of the blocks that drew bids lie directly within the migration pathway between the country’s onshore oilfields, which are currently the only source of domestic crude production, and the deepwater resources discovered offshore at Block 58, which TotalEnergies is developing together with Apache (US). Both the onshore and offshore fields have been typed to the Albian, Cenomanian and Turonian (ACT) source kitchen.

To date, five oilfields have been discovered offshore Suriname. They are Maka Central, Sapakara, Kwaskwasi and Keskesi at Block 58, operated by TotalEnergies, and Sloanea at Block 52, operated by Petronas (Malaysia).