APA Corp. revealed both a successful find offshore Suriname at its Baja-1 well in Block 53 and a dry hole at the Dikkop well in Block 58. 

With evaluation of openhole well logs, cores and reservoir fluids ongoing at Baja-1, “all of which will have us looking for APA’s commentary on future capital allocation within Suriname across the blocks given the regulatory approval the company has received regarding the PSC terms and options to extend the exploration period by up to four years,” Tudor, Pickering, Holt & Co. analyst Jeoffrey Lambujon wrote Aug. 23 in a note to clients.

Houston-based APA and its partners offshore Suriname continue to push forward exploration activities with aim on replicating the success seen across the maritime border in Guyana. Offshore Guyana an Exxon Mobil Corp.-led consortium that includes Hess Corp. and CNOOC has reported over 30 discoveries in Guyana’s prolific Stabroek Block where the current estimate of the recoverable resource base is approximately 11 billion barrels of oil equivalent.


Exxon Mobil, Hess Accelerate Stabroek Development with Two New Discoveries

Offshore Suriname, APA and France’s TotalEnergies SE have announced five discoveries in Block 58. TotalEnergies is the operator of Block 58 with a 50% working interest while APA holds the remaining 50%.

Despite the discoveries in Block 58 the pair have yet to announce a final investment decision (FID) for an initial development in the block. Analysts covering the companies, in particular, and Suriname, in general, continue to await an FID decision regarding Block 58, which many forecasted last year would happen sometime in 2022.

Media officials with APA and TotalEnergies didn’t immediately reply to email requests from Hart Energy about the status of a potential FID in Block 58.

Baja-1 Success

In Block 53, APA’s Baja-1 well was drilled to a depth of 17,356 ft (5,290 m) and encountered 112 ft (34 m) of net oil pay in a single interval within the Campanian. Preliminary fluid and log analysis suggest light oil with “a gas-oil ratio (GOR) of 1,600 to 2,200 standard cubic feet per barrel, in good quality reservoir,” APA announced Aug. 23 in a press statement. 

Baja-1 was drilled using the Noble Gerry de Souza drillship in water depths of approximately 3,740 ft (1,140 m). The well is a downdip lobe of the same depositional system as the Krabdagu discovery, 11.5 km to the west in Block 58, APA said.

“Our success at Baja marks the 6th oil discovery we have participated in offshore Suriname, and the first on Block 53,” APA CEO and president John J. Christmann said. “This result confirms our geologic model for the Campanian in the area and helps to de-risk other prospects in the southern portion of both Blocks 53 and 58.”

APA operates Block 53 and holds a 45% working interest in the block. The U.S.-based company is partnered in Block 53 with Malaysia’s Petronas (30% working interest) and Spain’s CEPSA (25% working interest), which boosts shareholders Mubadala Investment Co. Group and The Carlyle Group.

Hart Energy August 2022 - APA Corp Reveals Mixed Bag of Exploration Results Offshore Suriname - Map of operations
The Noble Gerry de Souza will mobilize to Block 58 after completion of operations at Baja-1. (Source: APA Corp. investor presentation)

APA also revealed that it recently received regulatory approval related to an amendment to the Block 53 production-sharing contract (PSC), which provides options to extend the exploration period of the PSC by up to four years. APA “is currently progressing the formalization of the election of the first one-year extension, for which all work commitments are complete,” the company said.

The Noble Gerry de Souza will mobilize to Block 58 after completion of operations at Baja-1. Once on location in Block 58 the drillship will drill the Awari exploration prospect located approximately 27 km (north) of the Maka Central discovery.

Dikkop Dry Hole

APA also revealed that it had concluded operations offshore Suriname in Block 58 at the Dikkop exploration well, but with less than desired results. Dikkop “encountered water-bearing sandstones in the targeted interval and has been plugged and abandoned,” APA said. 

TotalEnergies operates Block 58 with a 50% working interest, while APA holds the remaining 50%. The Maersk Valiant drillship, used to drill Dikkop will move next to the Sapakara Field to drill a second appraisal well at Sapakara South, where the joint venture conducted a successful flow test late last year.