Hydrocarbon Exploration Suriname: Perseverance Rewarded

Perseverance pays off; following two high-profile, high-cost dry holes drilled in Suriname, Apache hit their third consecutive major condensate-light oil discovery on Block 58.
This article appeared in Vol. 17, No. 4 - 2020


Hydrocarbon Exploration Suriname: Perserverance Rewared

Map showing location of the Kwaskwasi-1 well in Block 58, offshore Suriname. © NVentures. After two high-profile, high-cost dry holes drilled on Suriname’s Block 53 in 2015 and 2017, Apache have now hit their third consecutive major condensate-light oil discovery on Block 58, located between their dry holes and ExxonMobil’s Stabroek discovery trend in neighboring Guyana. The Kwaskwasi-1 well, which was targeting Campanian and Santonian deepwater sands, TD’d at 6,645m and encountered 278m net pay, the highest by far in the region to date. The Campanian section holds 86m net volatile oil and condensate plus 63m net light oil, and the Santonian has 129m net light oil. Samples from the Campanian show 34–43° API, with data still being analyzed from the lower interval.

This portion of the Guyana–Suriname trend, along with ExxonMobil’s Haimara-1 just across the border, appears to be shaping up as a lighter oil-volatile oil-condensate and wet gas fairway, as opposed to the more purely light oil found in the heart of the Stabroek block in the Liza complex region, about 100 km to the west. Kwaskwasi-1 is also a record setter for overall net pay in the whole trend: Apache’s Maka Central had 123m and their Sapakara West found 179m, while to the west the ExxonMobil wells have been averaging in the neighborhood of 50m net pay. 

Following completion of Kwaskwasi-1, the Noble Sam Croft drillship will move about 25 km to the south-east to drill Keskesi East-1 with the same general objective interval. Total (50%), as agreed in their farm-in last December, will then take over operatorship and plan an appraisal and exploration campaign to begin in the first quarter of next year. Apache are in the process of submitting appraisal plans for the first two discoveries to the government, and the terms of the farm-in state that Apache will receive a $5 billion cash carry on their first $7.5 billion of appraisal and development work, and a 25% carry beyond; both companies will fund 50% of new exploration. No acreage relinquishments are required until mid-2026.

This exploration update is brought to you in association with NVentures.


Related Articles

Exploration Europe

The West of Shetland Petroleum System

Is it that complex? While aspects of the geological evolution may still be complex, the distribution of phase (oil vs gas) is not and can be accounted for by the expected physical behaviour of petroleum in the subsurface. We discuss maturity, phase and the 'critical moment' in more detail in this article.