Energy QatarEnergy to explore oil off Suriname coast By Pramod Kumar May 9, 2023 Reuters/Amir Cohen The government has started a $1.8bn programme to drill natural gas exploration wells in the Mediterranean Sea and Nile Delta QatarEnergy has signed a 30-year production-sharing contract with Suriname’s state-owned oil company Staatsolie for a block off the coast of the South American country. The Qatari state-owned company has signed a similar deal with France’s TotalEnergies for a second offshore block, according to a Staatsolie statement. The two blocks (No 6 and No 8) are in the west of the shallow offshore area of Suriname, which is on the northeastern coast of South America. Staatsolie will have 40 percent participation through its subsidiary Paradise Oil Company. QatarEnergy and TotalEnergies will bear the costs in the exploration phase, which is expected to last six years. The first well is scheduled to be drilled in the third or fourth year, the statement added. After completing a shallow water bidding round in 2021, Staatsolie has been negotiating and signing production-sharing contracts with the auction winners. Contracts have already been signed with Chevron for two blocks and with Shell for one block, which are under exploration. In April, QatarEnergy agreed with British company Shell to acquire a 40 percent working interest in the C-10 block located off the coast of Mauritania. As part of its expansion strategy, the Qatari oil firm has acquired exploration licences in several countries, including South Africa, Namibia and Cyprus.