Weg Naar Zee

In Suriname, the oil exploration started in the 1930. The Weg naar Zee (“WnZ”) area was discovered in 1967.The Weg Naar Zee block is about 900 sq. km.

Overview of Oil in Suriname:

The history of oil exploration in Suriname goes back to the 1930s, with drilling conducted in the onshore province of Nickerie in the west of the country. Commercial oil volumes were discovered in the Tambaredjo Field in central onshore Suriname, which were developed by the newly formed Staatsolie Maatschappij Suriname N.V oil company from the 1980s onward. Development of the Tambaredjo discovery and subsequent adjacent discoveries in the Tambaredjo North West and Calcutta Fields has resulted in cumulative production of over 110 Million Barrels from these Staatsolie operated fields from a Stock Tank Oil Initially in Place of over 1 Billion Barrels.

Staatsolie exploration efforts are now focussed on nearshore prospectivity and licensing the deeper water Guyana-Suriname basin acreage to international offshore experienced oil E&P companies.  The onshore exploration licenses are owned by Staatsolie and have been on open offer to interested parties. Recent giant offshore discoveries in Guyana waters have renewed international interest in all areas of the Suriname-Guyana basin.

Weg Naar Zee License Area:

The existence of oil was established through exploration drilling in the separate onshore Weg Naar Zee (“WNZ”) area in 1968. The Weg Naar Zee License Area is 900 sq. km and is located around 50 Kilometres east of the Tambaredjo producing field infrastructure, close to the Capital City of Paramaribo. The License has an existing legacy dataset of over 70 wells and a network of 2D seismic lines. The license underwent a phase of exploration activity in the 19990s with the most recent exploration activity carried out by Staatsolie between 2007 and 2014.

  • In 2007/2008, 22 exploration wells were drilled with oil discoveries in the Lower Saramacca. 2D seismic data (7 lines) was acquired in 2008/2009.
  • In 2009, an appraisal drilling program was carried out during which 26 appraisal wells were drilled. During the appraisal program significant oil was encountered in the Middle Saramacca. This program resulted in a volumetric evaluation of the individual oil bearing sand lenses encountered with a combined cumulative STOIIP volume of 24.1 MMBLS.
  • In 2012-2013, an additional 6 exploration wells were drilled and additional 2D seismic data (8 lines) was acquired. The evaluation of the new 2D seismic data resulted in an updated geological model with new exploration prospectivity identified.

Petroleum Geology of Onshore Suriname:

  • Source rock: Turonian aged shaly source rock deposited in a shallow marine environment equivalent to the Trinidad Naparima Hill shale.
  • Reservoir rock: Palaeocene aged sandstones of the Saramacca Units were deposited in either a sand-rich meanderbelt or a wave-dominated shorezone. These sandstones have excellent reservoir qualities with measured porosities of over 30% and Permeabilities of 1 to 3 Darcies.
  • Reservoir Seal rock: Paleocene aged shales deposited in either a weak coastal plain fluvial system or a muddy coastal plain meander system. These shales are continuous except in pinch outs where they can substantially thin out and may even be absent due to limited deposition or erosion.
  • Reservoir Trap: In the WNZ central area, the major East-West WNZ normal fault causes juxtaposition of sand against shale resulting in the main structural trap. Stratigraphic trapping has also been identified as being in play due to the channelised depositional nature of the reservoir sand lenses.
  • Typical exploration vertical well depths are 1,000 to 1,500 Ft to the Saramacca Units with Basement Geology being encountered at shallow depths of less than 3,000 ft outcropping to the south of the License area in this sedimentary basin margin environment.
  • Oil shows have also been encountered in the Cretaceous rocks underlying the Saramacca Units in Weg Naar Zee.


Key facts:

  • Weg Naar Zee existing well, oil-bearing units encountered predominantly in the Lower and Middle Saramacca Units as in the Tambaredjo Field.
  • Oil bearing reservoirs both on the structural high as well as lows indicating both structural as well as stratigraphic trapping at play.


Going Forward:

The Minimum Work Obligation for Phase 1 of the WNZ Production Sharing Contract (3 Years duration – ending October 2022) consists of detailed G&G studies and performing two (2) Extended Well Tests on existing interpreted oil intervals.

Subsequent Exploration Phases Minimum Work Obligations include exploration drilling and geological surveying.

Development Plans for commercial hydrocarbon volumes can be submitted for approval during any point of the Exploration work periods.