Statoil: Suriname Exploration Position Map

Suriname's state oil company Staatsolie said July 13 it signed production sharing contracts involving ExxonMobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM), Hess Corp. (NYSE: HES) and Statoil ASA (NYSE: STO) for two blocks off the coast of the South American nation.

The 30-year E&P agreements involve the areas known as Block 59, to be developed by a consortium consisting of ExxonMobil and Hess, and Block 60, to be developed by Statoil.

The area off the shoulder of South America has generated interest from oil companies after Hess and ExxonMobil discovered crude off the coast of nearby Guyana.

Hess and Statoil already own stakes in Suriname oil projects.

Staatsolie will be able to take up to a 10% stake during the development and production phases.

Staatsolie has said that 2016 was one of the most difficult years in its 36-year history due to low oil prices, though the company managed to reach a gross profit of $13 million.