Apache spud the Maka Central-1, located roughly seven miles from the Suriname-Guyana maritime border, in late September and reached the well total vertical depth (TVD) of 18,900ft in November 2019. The well confirmed 240ft of net oil pay in the Santonian interval and 164ft of net light oil and gas condensate pay in the Campanian interval, with more appraisal planning underway.
The estimated recoverable resources of Maka Central is not known yet. Considering that Maka Central reservoirs are located at the same levels as the ones in the nearby Stabroek and the size of the net pays of total 400ft, it is reasonable to assume a potential 300 million barrels of gross recoverable oil for the Maka Central discovery.
Apache has permitted nine different wells in Block 58, which covers 1.4 million acres, with multiple targets. Due to the current lack of onshore infrastructure in the nearby Guyana-Suriname Basin, development through a floating production storage and offloading vessel (FPSO) will be the most optimal method.
Assuming development and operating costs similar to Liza phase one, to break even from estimated total costs of $7.2 billion Maka Central will need minimum recoverable resources of 213 million barrels of oil equivalent (Mmboe) at oil prices of $56 per barrel.
Figure: Major discoveries in Stabroek Block and Block 58. Credit: GlobalData.
Apache decided to sell 50% of it Suriname stake to Total, who is expected to take the operatorship of the block after the drilling of the third exploratory well. Total will benefit the venture with its broad offshore expertise. While it is far too early to know whether this new discovery by Apache and Total might eventually bring a similar positive financial impact for Suriname, the initial indicators are encouraging. It is worth noticing that Apache has the ability to retain the entirety of Block 58 with no relinquishment requirements until June 2026. The option provides sufficient time to execute a comprehensive exploration over the block and initiate development activities as warranted.
In addition, when compared regionally, the fiscal terms of the Profit Sharing Agreement applicable in Suriname, and under which Maka Central would be developed, offers favourable terms for the government through a higher level of state profit share.