TotalEnergies has commenced development studies for a “large oil project” in Block 58, offshore Suriname.

With a 50% stake, the French energy company is the operator of the block and US-based APA holds the remaining stake.

Last month, TotalEnergies completed the appraisal of the Sapakara South and Krabdagu oil discoveries, confirming that the two fields’ combined recoverable resources are close to 700 million barrels.

A system of subsea wells connected to an FPSO (floating production, storage, and offloading unit) 150km off the coast of Suriname will be used for production.

With a production capacity of 200,000 barrels of oil per day, the project is expected to cost $9bn (€8.37bn).

Detailed engineering studies are expected to begin by the end of 2023 and the final investment decision is anticipated by the end of 2024.

Production is due to commence in 2028.

Since some of Suriname’s resources are near the Stabroek block in Guyana, where an Exxon Mobil-led group has discovered 11 billion barrels of oil, the country’s oil potential is being actively studied, according to Reuters.

TotalEnergies chairman and CEO Patrick Pouyanné met with Suriname President Chan Santokhi and state oil company Staatsolie CEO Annand Jagesar to discuss the project.

Pouyanné said: “The Block 58 development studies that we are launching today are a major step towards the development of the petroleum resources of Suriname.

“This development is in line with TotalEnergies’ strategy aiming at the development of low-cost, low-emissions oil resources, and leverages on our company’s expertise in deepwater projects.”

Santokhi added: “This announcement provides the much-needed outlook towards positive developments for our nation. We will make sure that future income from the offshore oil and gas will be spent wisely.

“Those incomes will contribute to the prosperity and stability fund, and will be a means to diversify our economy by developing sustainable sectors such as agriculture and tourism.”

Since 2023, TotalEnergies has also been exploring Blocks 6 and 8 in Suriname.