ExxonMobil Exploration and Production Suriname has signed a production sharing contract (PSC) with Staatsolie Maatschappij Suriname to acquire Block 59, off the South American country’s coast.  

Following signing of the PSC, Exxon Mobil’s co-venturers Hess and Statoil are preparing to begin exploration activities, including acquisition and analysis of seismic data.

The deepwater block located 305km offshore Suriname is set to add significant acreage to ExxonMobil’s operated portfolio in the Guyana-Suriname Basin. 

Situated in water depths ranging from nearly 2,000m to 3,600m, Block 59 is 2.8 million acres and shares a maritime border with Guyana, where ExxonMobil operates three offshore blocks, including the Liza field discovered in 2015.

ExxonMobil Exploration Company president Steve Greenlee said: "We look forward to working with Staatsolie and our co-venturers to evaluate the potential of this new acreage.

"Adding this block enhances our leading global deepwater portfolio."

ExxonMobil is the operator of the block and its consortium partners Hess and Statoil each hold a third of the interest in it.

"Adding this block enhances our leading global deepwater portfolio."

In January, Staatsolie and the consortium comprising ExxonMobil, Hess and Statoil reached an agreement regarding a PSC for Block 59. Simultaneously, an agreement was reached with Statoil for Block 60.

The blocks were awarded to the consortium as a result of Staatsolie’s 'Open Door Policy Offshore Suriname’, which will be reopened in September this year. 

During this period, interested companies can again submit proposals for the open offshore acreage.

ExxonMobil has investments throughout South America and Suriname represents a new country for its upstream business. 

Image: Officials signing the PSCs for offshore blocks 59 and 60. Photo: courtesy of Staatsolie Maatschappij Suriname NV.