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The Demerara Plateau offshore Suriname will be the prime feature in a bidding round scheduled by Staatsolie in 2013.
By the end of the fourth quarter this year, seismic data will be available for companies interested in participating in Suriname’s offshore bidding round that is expected to open in the first quarter 2013.
About 5,000 km of BroadSeis 2D seismic surveys were acquired in December 2011. Interpretation of that data will be available by the end of this year.
Winners of the bidding round will be announced during the fourth quarter 2013, Clyde Griffith, an exploration geologist with Staatsolie, told Hart Energy E&P Online at the NAPE conference in Houston on Feb. 24.
“There is a lot of interest in the blocks. Some companies wanted direct negotiations on some blocks, but we want to give an equal chance to all participants,” he said.
“There are fault-related plays, unconformity traps and major folding” in the area being offered, which is in water depths ranging from 100 to 2,500 m (330 to 8,250 ft).
The area of the bidding rounds shares the maritime border with French Guiana. Blocks operated by other companies are also shown. (Illustration courtesy of Staatsolie)
The area shares a border with French Guiana, where Tullow Oil Plc. encountered oil in the Zaedyus exploration well (GM-ES-1) in 72 m (238 ft) of net oil pay in two turbidite fans. The objective of the well was to test whether the Jubilee play, successfully established in West Africa, was mirrored on the other side of the Atlantic. This result also reduced the exploration risk associated with its prospect inventory offshore French Guiana, Suriname and Guyana, according to Tullow.
Griffith noted that Suriname is also focusing on the equatorial Atlantic play fairway, where it expects companies to find deposits similar to those offshore Sierra Leone and Ghana.
The A2-1, which was well drilled on the Demerara Plateau, had a good closure, lack of reservoir and minor oil shows. The results of the FG2-1 well, which was also drilled on the Demerara Plateau, but in French-Guiana territory, suggests that the Aptian formation was eroded by the Albian Formation in the A2-1 well. The Aptian formation seems to have good reservoir potential (potential source rock is Lower Cretaceous and Jurassic) and is thickening to the east and the west of the A2-1 well.
The red line on the inset map shows the cross section of the Demerara Plateau. (Illustration courtesy of Staatsolie)
The Guyana Basin, which includes the area in the bidding round, is estimated to contain 15 billion barrels of oil equivalent.
Griffith pointed out that Suriname has been producing oil for nearly 30 years from three onshore fields. Total production is currently about 16,000 barrels per day.
The country already has leased several blocks offshore and is expecting the companies to shoot additional seismic in the near future.
For example, Kosmos Energy acquired two deepwater blocks offshore Suriname in 2011. The blocks cover nearly 3 million gross acres in the Suriname-Guyana Basin. As the company noted, recent industry results in the same petroleum system have proven the potential for significant hydrocarbon discovery in the region.
Kosmos is currently reprocessing existing 2D seismic data, with further plans to acquire new 3D data near the end of 2012 or in the first quarter 2013. First drilling could take place as early as 2014, according to the company. Block 42 is in water depths ranging from 5,900 to 8,850 ft, while Block 45 is in water 650- to 6,550-ft deep.
Tullow is expected to shoot 3D seismic on its 2,369-sq-km block in the second quarter. Late last year, the company farmed out 30% of its interest in Block 47 to Statoil. Tullow retained the remaining 70% and is the operator. Again, exploration drilling is expected to begin in 2014 under the production sharing contract (PSC).
Murphy Oil has a PSC covering Block 37, offshore Suriname. Murphy operates the block with a 100% working interest, subject to a 20% back-in option by the state oil company.
The block covers approximately 2.16 million gross acres with water depths ranging from 160 to 1,000 ft. Murphy shot 3D seismic shot in late 2008 and early 2009 and drilled two dry holes in late 2010 and early 2011. The company noted that it was using the data to assess the potential of both the block and region.
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