French major TotalEnergies and partner ASA Corp. have encountered more oil offshore Suriname in Block 58, the companies announced July 29. As previously noted, the primary objective of the first phase of the appraisal drilling program is to deliver a fast-track, black oil development, APA Corp. noted in a press release.

Located 4 km south-east of the Sapakara West-1 discovery, the companies struck oil at the Sapakara South-1 well, which encountered about 30 m of net black oil pay in a single zone of high-quality Campano-Maastrichtian reservoir. The drilling operations will continue using the Maersk Valiant drillship, which will soon mobilize to the next exploration prospect at Bonboni, approximately 45 kms to the north, before returning later in the year to flow test Sapakara South-1.

The latest oil find by Total Energies and partner ASA, follows previous discoveries at Maka Central, Sapakara West, Kwaskwasi and Keskesi. APA Suriname holds a 50% working interest in Block 58, with TotalEnergies, the operator, holding a 50% working interest.

APA Corp. President and CEO John J. Christmann IV said the initial appraisal results are very encouraging with "30 m of a single, blocky sand that is full to base with black oil." He said these characteristics are necessary to accelerate development in Block 58, which has high prospect density. "We are excited to explore the northern portion of the block at Bonboni and look forward to continuing our appraisal program, including a flow test of Sapakara South-1 before year-end," he said.

“We are pleased by this new successful well at Sapakara South-1, very similar to the one announced in Keskesi earlier this year," said Kevin McLachlan, senior vice president of exploration at TotalEnergies. "These repeated positive results confirm our strategy, which targets large resource volumes at low development costs. As the operator of the prolific block 58, this encourages us to continue our effort, jointly with our partner, to add to the resource base while conducting the appraisal operations designed to prove a commercial oil development.”

Following recent exploratory success offshore Suriname, analysts say the area could become an oil production hot spot in the near to mid-term. In a broader energy context, GlobalData said earlier this month, that Suriname is a good example of how oil and gas exploration in new offshore areas can remain on the menu of major companies. Analysts have also pointed out that Apache and TotalEnergies are on track to replicate success of oil giant Exxon Mobil, which has discovered more than 9 billion barrels of oil equivalent in Guyana.

Commenting on the latest exploration results offshore Guyana and Suriname,  Luiz Hayum, senior analyst of Latin America upstream at Woodmac, said, "In a year thin of deepwater discoveries, Guyana and Suriname continue to deliver great exploration results, with the Whiptail discovery and the successful Sapakara appraisal. The two successful wells will substantiate future development modules under planning, and they could be put in production in less than five years."