Apache Announces Significant Oil Find off Suriname

The Noble Sam Croft drilled the Maka Central-1 well for Apache (file image)

Published Jan 8, 2020 12:35 AM by The Maritime Executive

The oil and gas company Apache announced Monday that it has made a "significant" oil discovery at its Maka Central-1 exploration well off the coast of Suriname. The well is within Apache's Block 58 lease, which is directly adjacent to Exxon's promising Stabroek Block lease off the coast of neighboring Guyana. The announcement suggests the possibility of a prolific new resource area off Suriname. 

Maka Central is special: it is layered with three different play intervals - light oil and condensate of 40-60 API in the first, oil of 35-45 API in the second, and a third play below which has yet to be tapped. The pressures at the bottom reaches of the well were high, a positive sign for the development of the third interval. The company made the decision to conclude drilling at about 20,000 feet of depth, and another well will explore the third interval.

“We are very pleased with results from Maka Central-1. The well proves a working hydrocarbon system in the first two play types within Block 58 and confirms our geologic model with oil and condensate in shallower zones and oil in deeper zones. Preliminary formation evaluation data indicates the potential for prolific oil wells. Additionally, the size of the stratigraphic feature, as defined by 3-D seismic imaging, suggests a substantial resource," said John J. Christmann, Apache CEO and president. “Block 58 comprises 1.4 million acres and offers significant potential beyond the discovery at Maka Central. We have identified at least seven distinct play types and more than 50 prospects within the thermally mature play fairway."

French oil major Total agrees that the block holds promise: the company announced last month that it has signed an agreement with Apache to acquire a 50 percent working interest and operatorship in Block 58. Apache plans to drill two more exploration wells after Maka-1, then transfer operatorship to Total.

 “We are very pleased with this first significant oil discovery, made just after our entry into Block 58. The result is very encouraging and proves the extension of the prolific world-class Guyana Cretaceous oil play into Surinam waters," said Total SVP for exploration Kevin McLachlan in a statement.