Staatsolie has signed an LOA with Petronas and ExxonMobil to further explore the potential of a gas discovery at the Sloanea-1 well in Block 52, offshore Suriname.  

The agreement marks a significant step towards potentially developing a commercial gas field, despite initial assessments that deemed the discovery commercially unattractive.

In 2020, Petronas discovered a small quantity of gas in Block 52 that was initially considered not viable for development.

However, after discussions Staatsolie and Petronas have committed to further investigate the Sloanea-1 gas discovery’s feasibility.

The LOA outlines the principles and conditions for this exploration, including a tax-free period of ten years from the start of production, which has been approved by the government.

It also serves as the foundation for negotiations on a ‘Gas Addendum’ to the existing production sharing contract for Block 52, which was signed in April 2013.

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Staatsolie said the Sloanea-2 appraisal well, including a production test, is due to be drilled from April 2024.

In a press statement, Staatsolie said: “After the Sloanea-2 appraisal well has been drilled, it will be determined whether a commercial gas field is feasible. In that case, the first gas production would be around 2031 at the earliest, taking into account the construction time of the production installations.

“A possible commercial gas field will be developed via a “FLNG project”. FLNG (Floating Liquefied Natural Gas) means that the gas is extracted from a floating production platform, liquefied and stored for transport by gas tankers.”

In December 2023, international oil and gas companies signed production sharing contracts with Staatsolie for three blocks, 63, 64 and 65, offshore Suriname.