Repsol Eyes Exploration Block Offshore Suriname

Suriname's state oil firm Staatsolie has signed an agreement with Repsol YPF to study investment in the country's small petroleum industry. The agreement contains negotiating points for Repsol's potential exploration and production of an oil block off the coast of Suriname, according to Staatsolie.
Staatsolie has put 13 offshore tracts in waters as much as 200 meters deep on the auction block to foreign firms as part of efforts to develop Suriname's hydrocarbon resources. The country could have potential crude reserves of 15 billion barrels, according to a U.S. Geological Study.

Suriname is offering foreign firms production sharing contracts. The country currently produces 12,000 bpd used to feed a 7,000 bpd domestic refinery.

The 2001 licensing round did not draw any bids. Staatsolie is hoping that better contract terms will attract more foreign investment.