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Apache, Total JV discovers 'significant' oil offshore Suriname

Apache Corp. and Total SA on Jan. 7 said they made a "significant" oil discovery at the Maka Central-1 well located offshore Suriname on Block 58.

The Maka Central-1 well encountered oil and gas condensate, according to a news release. The shallower Campanian interval has 50 meters of net hydrocarbon-bearing reservoir, while the deeper Santonian interval has 73 meters of net oil-bearing reservoir, Apache said in the release.

The Maka Central-1 also targeted the Turonian interval, but a decision was made to stop drilling at the Santonian. The Turonian is said to be a "geologic analogue" to oil discoveries offshore West Africa and is planned to be drilled in the future.

"Preliminary formation evaluation data indicates the potential for prolific oil wells," John Christmann, Apache CEO and president, said in the release. "Additionally, the size of the stratigraphic feature ... suggests a substantial resource."

The joint venture's drillship will continue to drill the next wells in Block 58, beginning with the Sapakara West-1, which is located about 20 kilometers southeast of the Maka Central discovery.

In early December 2019, Apache's stock price plummeted to an 18-year low after the Houston-based producer said it needed to conduct additional testing to determine if production would be viable at its first exploratory well. On Dec. 22, 2019, Apache said it would partner with French major Total to develop Block 58. In exchange for a 50% stake, Total will pony up $100 million upfront and another $75 million on first oil production, as well as reimburse half of the block's costs incurred thus far.