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TotalEnergies CEO says Block 58 gas will not be flared

Patrick Pouyanné, the CEO of France’s TotalEnergies, has said that his company will not flare any of the associated gas contained within its oilfields offshore Suriname.

Speaking during the Energy Intelligence Forum earlier this month, Pouyanné noted that the oil-rich sections of Block 58, which TotalEnergies is developing in co-operation with US-based Apache, contained significant volumes of associated gas. The company will have to find a way to monetise this gas rather than burning it off and focusing solely on oil, he said.

“There’s no way for TotalEnergies to flare the gas,” he said, according to a report from S&P Global Platts. “We'll have to find a way to valorise the gas.”

He indicated that the French major had not yet decided how to handle future gas production but would consider arrangements similar to those made by neighbouring Guyana, which has struck a deal with US-based ExxonMobil on using associated gas from the Liza field for domestic electricity and petrochemical production. The issue is an important one, since TotalEnergies will have to make plans for the gas before taking a final investment decision (FID), he said. But he also pointed out that locally oriented projects would have to be relatively small in scale.

“We would like to be able to launch as quickly as possible a first oil development in order to gain some revenues, but today the gas content of what we discovered is quite high. So the question is, what do we do with this [associated] gas,” Pouyanné commented. “There is maybe the same point with Guyana. The domestic markets could exist but are limited.”

Going forward, TotalEnergies and other operators should work to determine the size of gas reserves within the Guyana-Suriname basin and then look into possible regional solutions, he said. “We must continue to appraise [and] to explore. We still have very interesting targets on both sides, and I hope at the end of 2022 we’ll have made a large inventory of all these resources and then we’ll be able to engage with the countries” to find a solution for the gas, he added.

Block 58 covers about 1.4mn acres (5,670 square km) within Suriname’s offshore zone. TotalEnergies has already made five finds within the licence area – Maka Central-1, Sapakara West-1, Kwaskwasi-1, Keskesi-1 and Sapakara South-1. Equity in the project is split 50:50 between TotalEnergies and Apache, and the French major is serving as operator.