The petrochemical major stated that its subsidiary ExxonMobil Exploration and Production Suriname had inked a production sharing contract alongside co-venturers Hess and Statoil with Staatsolie Maatschappij Suriname for deepwater Block 59.

ExxonMobil will be the operator of the block and along with its partners Hess and Statoil will hold a stake of 33.33% each. Statoil had also been awarded 100% stake and ownership in the nearby Block 60 in the Guyana basin.

For ExxonMobil, the acquisition of Block 59 marks the first time for its upstream business will be venturing in Suriname although the company has investments right across South America.

The offshore block bought from the Surinamese national oil company is located nearly 190 miles from Paramaribo in water depths of 2,000-3,600mts.

ExxonMobil Exploration president Steve Greenlee said: “We look forward to working with Staatsolie and our co-venturers to evaluate the potential of this new acreage.

“Adding this block enhances our leading global deepwater portfolio.”

According to ExxonMobil, the co-venturers are set to commence exploration activities, including acquisition and analysis of seismic data in the acquired block which shares a maritime border with Guyana. It is the same region where ExxonMobil is an operator of three offshore blocks including the 2015-discovered Liza field.

Last month, ExxonMobil made a final investment decision to move ahead with Liza Oil Development with initial production expected to be close to 120,000 barrels of oil per day. It will invest over $4.4bn on the phase 1 of the project.

Image: Map showing Block 59 and Block 60 offshore Suriname. Photo: courtesy of Statoil ASA.