A decision to enter a potential production development phase at Block 58 will not come cheap for Staatsolie.

The Suriname state-owned oil company and market regulator is entitled to take up to 20% working interest in Block 58 should TotalEnergies opt to turn exploration successes at the Maka Central-1, Sapakara West-1, Kwaskwasi-1 and Keskesi East-1 discoveries into future production.

Pegged at between $3 billion and $5 billion by consultancy Wood Mackenzie, developing Block 58 will be expensive.

“It appears Staatsolie would initially be more interested in entering with a smaller stake to have greater flexibility because the option is for individual developments and not the whole block,” says Wood Mackenzie senior upstream research analyst Luiz Hayum.