Cretaceous Deep-water Sediment Opportunities in the Suriname Basin
Clyde Griffith¹ and Sharon Khun¹
¹Exploration Geologist, Staatsolie Maatschappij Suriname
According to the USGS, the Suriname-Guyana Basin has great hydrocarbon potential, yet is considered one of the most underexplored basins in the world. Numerous international oil and gas companies have entered the offshore area of Suriname, through Production Sharing Contracts (PSCs), to conduct hydrocarbon exploration programs, but thus far none are commercially successful.
With the discoveries of the Jubilee and Mahagoney fields in Ghana and the Zaedyus exploration well in French-Guyana in 2011, from similar 'plays' in Cretaceous formations, the concept of the "Atlantic Mirror Theory" has been proven. Similar play types can also be expected in the Guyana/Suriname Basin.
The efforts of exploring the Cretaceous in the onshore and offshore areas of Suriname have intensified over the last few years. The onshore Cretaceous sediments are fluvial deposits, and exploration results have been disappointing due to poor reservoir quality and low hydrocarbon charge. However, the deep-water Cretaceous deposits of the offshore area remain underexplored and promising. To date, only eleven (11) wells in offshore Suriname have penetrated Cretaceous deep-water sediments. In addition, the interpretation of more than 40,000 km of 2D seismic and over 23,000 km² of 3D seismic has revealed the presence of stratigraphic pinch-outs and basin floor fans. These features, as well as structural traps juxtaposed with the proven, mature Cenomanian/Turonian Canje source rock, reinforce the expectation of making commercial discoveries in the near future.
There is some evidence pointing to the presence of an older Aptian/Albian source, but a commercial accumulation of Aptian/Albian-aged oil has not yet been discovered. Presently, data acquisition programs and detailed geological interpretations are being pursued by the PSC operators to address the existing geological understanding and associated risks. In addition, there is also the costly challenge of water depths exceeding 1,500 m in some areas.
AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90203 © AAPG Geoscience Technology Workshop, Trinidad and Tobago Deep Horizon and Deep Water Frontier Exploration in Latin America and the Caribbean, March 9-11, 2014, Port of Spain, Trinidad