\r\nIn little under a decade, the Guyana-Suriname Basin has emerged as the world\u2019s most desirable hydrocarbon real estate, triggering an oil rush that has seen a host of global oil majors scramble to establish a presence in the region.\r\nWhilst excitement surrounding the discoveries of vast oil reserves off the coast of Guyana has stolen the limelight in recent years, 2020 has seen the Republic of Suriname take centre stage following the discovery of vast reserves in its own waters by Apache and Total SA \u2013 an event that is set to earn the country a seat at the top table of elite oil producing nations alongside its neighbour.\r\nThese are still early days, of course \u2013 experts have not yet been able to ascertain just how much oil Suriname\u2019s oil fields will ultimately yield. What is certain, however, is that \u2013 considering, the shared maritime geology off the coastline of both nations \u2013 the discoveries in Block 58 at the Maka Central, Sapakara, and Kwaskwasi discoveries are likely to emulate the huge finds off the coast of Guyana which, to date, totals six billion barrels.\u00a0\r\nNaturally, Staatsolie Maatschappij Suriname N.V. and its CEO, Rudolf Elias are delighted. The successes of 2020 are the culmination of nearly four decades of hard work on the part of Staatsolie and its staff to realise the country\u2019s hydrocarbon potential, and vindication of the billions of dollars spent by the company\u2019s PSC partners in the conviction that, despite numerous setbacks, commercial breakthroughs would be made.\r\n\u201cWith these three finds alone, the Government of Suriname will get an income anywhere between US$20 and US$60 billion dollars, and US$20 billion is the lowest possible income if we develop all three of the finds that we have,\u201d Elias said, as he stated that the $60 billion is based on a US$55 oil price.\r\nHeadquartered in the capital city, Paramaribo, Staatsolie is a major player in the region with a formidable hydrocarbon heritage. Over the near 40 years since its inception, it has grown to become a cornerstone of the Surinamese economy, employing 1,311 staff and playing an essential role as a wealth creator and provider of service excellence. With great power comes great responsibility, as the old saying goes, and Staatsolie takes its role as an arbiter of socio-economic development and the responsibilities that come with it very seriously indeed.\u00a0\r\nFounded in 1980 to execute oil policy on behalf of the Surinamese state, the company\u2019s sole shareholder, Staatsolie is tasked with all oil-related activities, from exploration and drilling to refining and marketing.\r\nBrick by brick, Staatsolie has overseen the development of Suriname\u2019s hydrocarbon infrastructure. Since commercial production began in 1982, the company\u2019s operations have grown to the extent that, today, Staatsolie produces enough diesel at their refinery to meet all local demand, and enough gasoline to supply a substantial segment of the local market. Over the past five years, Staatsolie has demonstrated its commitment to service excellence through over US$1 billion in investment into projects that have boosted production, improved safety and streamlined operations.\u00a0\r\nDespite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, Staatsolie has managed to maintain total annual production of 6 million barrels Saramacca Crude and reduce costs in the process.\u00a0\r\nTo achieve these levels of annual crude production, Staatsolie has been testing and implementing Enhanced\/Improved Oil Recovery (EOR\/IOR) methods, and horizontal drilling. As part of the company\u2019s ongoing strategic goal of seeking new ways to optimise production and achieve cost efficiencies, Staatsolie has deployed new technologies across the whole chain of upstream and downstream activities, in addition to all supporting services. \u00a0\r\nEOR\/IOR techniques have been implemented following a multi-year pilot phase, designed to increase reservoir recovery and recoverable reserves. Staatsolie subsequently took many steps leading up to the commercial implementation of a polymer flooding program, conducting studies and selecting contractors to prepare systems and facilities. It is anticipated the plant to be fully operational in the first half of 2021.\r\nAdditionally, the first turnaround and inspection of the Staatsolie refinery was carried out from February to April 2020, which proved challenging in light of the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. It is at the Staatsolie Refinery, which was first commissioned in December 2014, that Saramacca crude is refined into quality high-end products, ultra-low sulphur diesel and gasoline, and bitumen and different grades of fuel.\r\nStaatsolie\u2019s oil and gas exploration efforts have been another major area of activity in recent times. The\u00a0 Nearshore Drilling Project which was conducted by Staatsolie - a challenging exploration-drilling project in the nearshore \u2013 was a major undertaking on the part of the company. No commercial discovery was made during the project, but the project yielded invaluable data on the hydrocarbon-rich rock formations off Suriname\u2019s coastline.\u00a0\r\nEight new blocks in the currently unlicensed and underexplored Shallow Offshore (SHO) acreage of Suriname are being offered via a round of competitive bidding. The blocks are located in the west of the Shallow Offshore area, south of the recent deepwater discoveries made in Block 58 and northwest of the onshore producing fields.\r\nWith its hydrocarbon future secured, Staatsolie has succeeded in setting Suriname on a path to prosperity that will drastically improve living standards for its people and facilitate rapid economic development over the years. Not that it is resting in its laurels, however.\r\nRather, Staatsolie has opted to expand its operations beyond the oil and gas space to become a multi-spectrum resource operator and producer with interests in two gold mines in Suriname. A bright new future beckon for Staatsolie, which has now cultivated partnerships with world-class mining majors, Newmont and IAMGOLD Rosebel Goldmines - successful, cash producing investments which provides Staatsolie with a new, diversified revenue stream which will prove most lucrative for Suriname\u2019s national coffers.\r\nStaatsolie generates earnings from its various commercial activities and new partnerships in the gold mining space. Our contribution from earnings to Suriname\u2019s government, consisting of taxes, dividends and royalties are significant, making Staatsolie a major contributor to the Surinamese economy. In the period 2010-2019 the government contribution amounted to approximately US$ 1.93 billion.\r\nGoing forward, the coming decade could herald the beginnings of a new era for the country and its people as it emerges to become a major oil producing power.