Suriname Could Become an Exporter by 2030

Copyright © 2023 Energy Intelligence Group All rights reserved. Unauthorized access or electronic forwarding, even for internal use, is prohibited.

Exploratory drilling offshore Suriname has turned up sizable volumes of associated and nonassociated natural gas that could reach export markets by the end of the decade. Suriname's offshore gas could be exported either as LNG, compressed natural gas or piped to northern South America, experts said during a recent online Suriname event. Suriname, which shares the prolific Guyana-Suriname offshore basin with Guyana, is home to estimated recoverable gas resources of around 29 trillion cubic feet, according to executives with Scotland-based Xodus Group. Xodus' midcase Suriname gas estimate includes around 19.3 Tcf of nonassociated gas with the remaining being classified as associated. International agencies such as the US Geological Survey and independent reserve consultants have yet to publish estimates of Suriname's gas potential (LNGI Jun.7'21). “Suriname has material opportunity to utilize gas to benefit both to potential growth in domestic demand and generate revenue through exports,” Xodus' Lead Consultant Dan Paterson said during the event. The country could see exports in the next decade if they could achieve final investment decisions in the next two years, according to Susan Sakmar, a visiting professor at University of Houston's law school. Nearby Trinidad and Tobago sources upstream gas to support its exports of LNG, ammonia and methanol. However it is an unlikely end market for Suriname's gas due to the potential high cost to build a pipeline linking both distant countries, energy consultant to the Guyanese government and former Trinidad Energy Minister Kevin Ramnarine tells Energy Intelligence. LNG Exports Suriname's relatively small population and economy make either a floating or land-based LNG export options the most attractive income option for the country to commercialize its gas resources. The floating LNG export option could be up and running sooner. However, both options would come up against various environmental and financial headwinds, as well as Suriname's ability to compete against larger global LNG players. “LNG exports require supportive regulatory, fiscal and commercial regimes, along with a viable commercial model and partner alignment on the corporate side. Then, you need to sell the volumes,” Energy Intelligence's Research & Advisory unit Director Ian Nathan says. “The market is pretty wide open for the late 2020s -- for now. But there is a lot of capacity under development worldwide, and those looking to promote LNG exports also need to make them financially viable over the longer term,” Nathan adds. Suriname also has potential to extract liquids from its gas and provide another source of local as well as export revenue, the National Gas Company of Trinidad and Tobago Vice President of Operations Ramesh Harrylal says. "There's huge potential for Suriname to develop its gas economy … but it's crucial for the country to understand how it can maximize the value of each molecule of gas that can spur long-term investment and economic growth," Harrylal adds. Piped Opportunities Another alternative is to pipe it to the mainland to support domestic industrial developments. The gas could be also exported further by pipelines to Guyana, French Guiana as well as Brazil's northern states of Amapa and Roraima via a proposed Arco Norte energy corridor (WGI Apr.14'21). Suriname's newly found gas resources could also be reinjected into oil reservoirs to assist to maintain or boost oil production levels. While Suriname's national oil company Staatsolie only produced around 16,500 barrels per day in 2019, oil production in the country is set to take off in coming years from its offshore regions. France's TotalEnergies and the US' APA expect initial oil to start flowing in 2025 from their deepwater Block 58, while a potential second development on the block could produce first oil by 2027, according to preliminary estimates revealed by Staatsolie. Shortly thereafter, Suriname's offshore gas is slated to initially reach the mainland by 2028 as part of a planned gas-to-shore project through a shorebase location in either Nickerie or in Suriname's capital Paramaribo. “Gas is needed from 2028 to supply growing electricity demand and to phase out oil,” Staatsolie Offshore Manager Tom Ketele said during the Suriname event. Suriname's gas will enable a “second and sustainable industrialization era elevating the entire nation,” he said. Pietro Pitts, Houston

Corporate Strategy
Wanda Ad #2 (article footer)
The US Department of Energy's new policy limiting new LNG project approvals could hold back competition and hurt export expansion plans.
Tue, May 23, 2023
In a strongly worded filing, project sponsor Energy Transfer maintains DOE's underlying policy regarding export timelines is legally fraught.
Fri, May 26, 2023
An activist investor group drew increased support for its climate proposal at TotalEnergies' annual meeting this year.
Fri, May 26, 2023