Suriname oil company invests US$30 million in search for new fields

(de Ware Tijd) PARAMARIBO – In the coming four months, Staatsolie will invest US$30 million in a search for new oil fields along the coast. The exploration started on 1 May, and this is the first time the state-owned oil company has taken the initiative to invest its own funds in 2D and 3D seismic exploration. “It is not just a gamble, but a calculated move,” Patrick Brunings, manager of Staatsolie subsidiary Paradise Oil Company (POC), tells de Ware Tijd. POC will carry out the project.

The exploration is being conducted in block 4 which is located some 40 kilometers off the coast of Saramacca and Wanica and contains the company’s major oil fields, namely Tambaredjo, Tambaredjo North-west and the Calcutta fields. Brunings says the exploration in this area was not started just because block 4 is close to land fields, adding, “In the 80s, two foreign oil companies found traces of oil in this block.” Brunnings admits these factors have led Staatsolie to invest US$30 million in the project, while it would usually sign agreements with foreign companies when such huge amounts are involved.

Besides this, technology has been chosen that will yield the most thorough results, while a data cable has been laid on the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean for better results. The 2D and 3D programme will take four months, while data are to be processed in special camps in Nieuw Amsterdam and other locations in Commewijne. This regards a large-scale operation in which the armed forces are also involved to provide protection against piracy. The renowned research company GeoKenetics is carrying out the exploration on behalf of Staatsolie.