Apache and Total announce joint venture in Block 58 offshore Suriname

Source: press releases, 23 December 2019

Total’s exploration activities in the Guyana-Suriname Basin
illustration: Total

Total has signed an agreement with Apache Corporation to acquire a 50% working interest and operatorship in the highly prospective Block 58 offshore Suriname, further expanding Total’s footprint in the prolific Guyana-Suriname basin.

Block 58 is located on trend with the prolific discoveries in the adjacent Stabroek block in Guyana. The Maka-1 exploration well is currently being drilled on the block in a water depth of about 1,000 metres and preliminary results confirm the prospectivity of the license. Two additional exploration wells are planned to be drilled by Apache after the completion of Maka-1 before transferring the operatorship to Total.

“Total is pleased with this significant entry in Suriname where Total will become Operator and bring its deepwater expertise. The new license expands our positions in the Guyana-Suriname Basin, a highly favorable petroleum province,” says Arnaud Breuillac, President, Exploration & Production at Total. “We look forward to working alongside with Apache, and Staatsolie, the national oil company.”

“Suriname Block 58 presents a unique, large-scale oil resource opportunity, and we are very pleased to welcome Total to our existing partnership with Staatsolie, the national oil company of Suriname. Total’s extensive offshore operational experience and global footprint make it an ideal partner for a block of this size and potential,” says John J. Christmann, CEO and President of Apache. “Upon meeting certain drilling commitments, the partnership has the rights to explore the entire block through mid-2026 without acreage relinquishments. This provides for a thorough evaluation of the multiple play types we have identified in this emerging oil-prone basin.”

At closing Total will pay a bonus of USD 100 million, plus its share of past costs. In the event developments are launched, Total will provide a reimbursable carry for a share of Apache’s capital expenditure for the development phase and make some additional payments linked to the development and production. Cost of carry and payments would then represent an acquisition cost of around $2 per barrel.