(Reuters) – TotalEnergies’ (TTEF.PA) Chief Executive Patrick Pouyanne will visit Suriname next week with the possibility of “good news” on developing oil projects in the South American country, he said on Wednesday at a conference.
France’s TotalEnergies (TTEF.PA) and partner U.S. APA Corp (APA.O) are expected to make a final investment decision by the end of 2024 for block 58, Suriname’s most promising offshore oil area, which could advance the project to the development phase.
Suriname’s President Chan Santokhi last week said on local TV that a top energy executive would visit the country next week to do “big announcements.” “The oil and gas are there,” he added.
But government officials have later downplayed the visit, saying the very expected final investment decision, a crucial stage in mega energy projects to determine whether to go ahead with the project, might not come so soon.
“We have in Suriname a field of oil, which is big enough to launch a sizeable deepwater development, but I will reveal all the details to the Suriname president,” Pouyanne said at the Barclays CEO-Energy Power Conference in New York.
The block 58 has been closely watched as it is adjacent to Exxon Mobil’s (XOM.N) massive area in Guyana, and could become Suriname’s first commercial offshore project. Current oil output in the South American country is solely focused onshore.
Suriname’s state-run oil firm Staatsolie has participation rights of up to 20% if a development plan is approved.
Pouyanne had said in April at the company’s first quarter results webcast that 2023 would be a very important year for TotalEnergies in Suriname and Namibia in Africa.
Total declined to elaborate further. APA declined to comment.
In early 2022, TotalEnergies and APA announced a discovery of oil and gas at the Krabdagu-1 well, which followed previous findings at Maka, Kwaskwasi, Sapakara and Keskesi, all at the prolific offshore block 58, operated by TotalEnergies with a 50% working interest.
After progressing in well appraisal, APA said last month the companies had confirmed oil resources of more than 800 million barrels at Sapakara and Krabdagu.
Pouyanné in April said the group was designing a cluster combining resources in different portions of the area, while planning a low oil-to-gas ratio to secure “an efficient development” in Suriname.