State Oil Company Suriname (Staatsolie) and the Danish oil company Maersk Oil signed a production sharing agreement on Tuesday, November 9th, 2004. The contract involves the exploration, development and production of petroleum from offshore Block 31 located in the coastal waters of Suriname.
Managing Director Dr. Eddie Jharap signed for Staatsolie and Mr. Poul Munk Andersen, Senior Vice President, signed for Maersk Oil. The government of Suriname had already given their consent to this agreement. The contracted area of Block 31 is located 30 kilometers from the coast and encompasses an area of more than 13,800 square kilometers in waters varying in depth from 20 to 50 meters. This is the second offshore agreement signed by Staatsolie in 2004.
The total duration of the contract is set at 30 years and is divided into exploration, development and production periods. First of all, a minimum exploration program shall be conducted. Due to the presence of a seismic boat in Suriname already collecting data for Repsol-YPF, the work may begin immediately following the signing. Maersk Oil shall collect approximately 5,600 km of seismic data from Block 31.
In the framework of this agreement all exploration, development and production expenses made by Maersk Oil shall be their responsibility and are to be repaid if the company makes a commercial discovery, which they are able to bring into production. Income for Suriname shall include royalties, income taxes and the profit oil of Staatsolie. Further, Staatsolie holds the option to participate, in the commercial phase for a maximum of 15% in a development and production phase. The income for the government shall be increased through this participation. In the agreement, other provisions are included with reference to job opportunities for the local work force, local purchasing and educational opportunities focusing on exploration, production and other petroleum related subjects. Further included in the contract are conditions concerning environmental care and safety based upon international norms. Staatsolie shall fulfill an important role in the monitoring of these conditions.
Maersk Oil is a part of the A.P. Moller – Maersk Groupactivities. Maersk Oil was established in 1962 when founder A.P. Møller acquired concessions for the exploration and production of oil and gas in Denmark. As of 2004, Maersk Oil operates oil production of more than 500,000 barrels and a sales gas production of more than 1,000 million cubic feet per day. Out of their oil and gas fields in the Danish North Sea, offshore Qatar, Algeria and Kazakhstan, the company has a net production exceeding 400,000 barrels of oil equivalents per day. Maersk Oil has ongoing activities in the Danish, British, German and Norwegian sectors of the North Sea, Qatar, Algeria, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Oman, Brazil and Morocco.