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Regional News

October 14, 2006
Repsol YPF to drill for oil and gas offshore Suriname
Caribbean Net News

PARAMARIBO, Suriname: Spanish oil producer Repsol YPF will next year drill for oil and gas in Suriname's offshore territories. The multinational signed a US$100 million contract with Trans Ocean to execute two test drillings in the Block 30 offshore concession, officials in Paramaribo said.

Between July and October, Trans Ocean will put up the oil rig Sovereign Explorer, to drill at two different locations.

If there is a commercial find, it could take between 4 and 6 years to develop all facilities to start commercial production, said Israel Hernandez, Repsol YPF's Project Drilling Manager. Repsol YPF would by then have made an investment of around US$1 billion in this venture.

Currently Repsol YPF and Trans Ocean are conducting information sessions with possible local contractors for several necessary services. The sessions are meant to inform the Surinamese business community about the commercial possibilities of the future drilling activities.

Both companies in the near future will open tenders for workers, accommodation, chemical supplies, storage facilities, transportation and provisioning. "It is up to the business community to react on this opportunities," said Hernandez. Services which are not available in Suriname , the companies will tender for.

Although the exploration in offshore Suriname is a very risky investment, Repsol YPF is positive it will discover commercially exploitable oil and gas reserves.

The Spanish multinational signed a production sharing contract with the Surinamese state-owned company, Staatsolie, for the exploration and production of oil in Block 30, which is 100 km offshore Suriname. The contract was signed April 24 at a ceremony attended by the President of the National Assembly and the Minister of Natural Resources of the Republic of Suriname.

Block 30 has a surface area of approximately 18,600 km2 and is in the Guyana - Suriname basin, where oil is currently produced at the Tambaredjo and Calcutta fields near Paramaribo. The production sharing contract is for thirty years, and includes a six-year exploration period.

This contract is the result of a two-year technical study of the region, administered by Repsol YPF, and based on existing seismic and geological data on offshore Suriname supplied by Staatsolie. The results of these studies show possibilities of significant hydrocarbon accumulations, especially in the deep-water area of Block 30.

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