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New Producers, New Pressures in South America

Copyright © 2021 Energy Intelligence Group
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Newly found oil riches in Guyana and Suriname could drastically transform both countries economically, politically and socially. However, monetization of these resources will come amid heightened climate change concerns as the world and energy industry finally get serious about decarbonization and reducing emissions. Yet both South American nations are pushing to quickly move ahead with exploration and development plans at one of the world's final frontier oil basins. They are trying to head off environmental concerns by emphasizing the "advantaged" low-cost, low-carbon barrels from their huge offshore reserves, while noting the enormous "carbon sink" capacity of their vast forests. The Guyana-Suriname Basin has recoverable resources of around 11 billion barrels of oil equivalent. In Guyana, Exxon Mobil and partners Hess and China National Offshore Oil Corp. have found more than 9 billion boe in the offshore Stabroek Block. Guyana could be producing around 1 million barrels per day by 2025-26 and well above that by 2030, Natural Resources Minister Vickram Bharrat said at last month's Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) in Houston. In Suriname, partners APA (formerly Apache) and TotalEnergies have found close to 2 billion boe in offshore Block 58. Production from the block could commence in 2025, Patrick Brunings, exploration manager at Suriname’s state-run oil company Staatsolie told OTC. Consultancy Rystad Energy foresees total production from initial finds in Block 58 peaking at almost 550,000 b/d in the mid-2030s.

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