Apache has entered into an agreement with Staatsolie Maatschappij Suriname for a production sharing contract (PSC) for offshore block 53, located 130km off the north-west coast of Paramaribo.

"Under the terms of the contract, both companies have agreed to a minimum working programme for the exploration phase."

The 30-year contract is divided into exploration, development and production phases.

Under the terms of the contract, both companies have agreed to a minimum working programme for the exploration phase.

The company said geological surveys and exploration drilling are part of the exploration phase.

All costs during the exploration phase will be taken on by Apache. In return it will receive reimbursement if a commercial find has been made and brought into production.

Staatsolie will have the opportunity for a 20% stake in the contract for the development phase.

The companies are expected to invest a total of $230m. The duration of the first phase is scheduled for three years, with an optional second phase of two and a half years.

In the first phase, it will include a large 3D seismic survey and two wells, while a third well will be drilled in the optional second phase.

The PSC deals with the inspection, safety, environment and employment of local cadre, training, social programmes and the dismantling of facilities at the end of operations.