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Staatsolie Maatschappij Suriname NV and Apache Corp. signed a production-sharing contract for offshore block 53, located about 130 km (81 miles) off the northwest coast of Paramaribo, a news release stated.
The contract, divided into exploration, development and production phases, is valid for approximately 30 years. The parties have agreed to a minimum working program for the exploration phase, which includes geological surveys and exploration drilling, according to the release. Apache will take full responsibility for all costs during the exploration phase. If a commercial find has been made and brought into production, Apache will receive reimbursement for such costs.
The contract offers Staatsolie the opportunity for a stake in the development phase of up to 20%.
The exploration period under the contract is divided into two phases with a combined investment of approximately US $230 million, the release said. The duration of the first phase is scheduled for three years with an optional second phase of two and a half years. In addition to a large 3D seismic survey, two wells will be drilled in the first phase with a third well to be drilled in the optional second phase.
The production sharing contract explicitly deals with inspection, safety and the environment. There are also special provisions for employment of local cadre, training, social programs and the dismantling of facilities at the end of operations, according to the release.