28. Suriname – Outer Limits of the Continental Shelf
This was the Submission by the Government of the Republic of Suriname, December 5, 2008.
For Establishment of the Outer Limits of the Continental Shelf of Suriname.
The Extended Continental Shelf of Suriname was approved by the UNCLOS on 17 March 2011.
When serving Staatsolie as a consultant I was privileged to participate and contribute to the successful execution of this important project. As part of an extensive multi-discipline group.
And as a member of the technical G&G advisors staff. During the diplomatic negotiations and deliberations with Guyana and Trinidad & Tobago. Together with the ambassadors and staff, representing the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Suriname.
As an explorationist it was an eye opener and most exciting. Realising that such a crucial country issue as extension of the Outer Limits of the Continental Shelf, in the Suriname case, depended mainly on excellent, high quality and smart geophysical-geological interpretation by the geoscientists. Just a good G&G job. Specifically of the basin evolution and herewith related sediment thickness development in the outer limits offshore area. That’s it.
To a much lesser or almost no degree it was dependant and determined by pure jurisdictional issues and/or transnational political conjectures.
The offshore political boundaries of Suriname with its neighbours have herewith definitely been established and agreed.
Onshore Tigri-New River Triangle area boundaries still have to be agreed.
In my opinion Suriname therefore ranks as the best. As far as absence of political risk and possible force majeur is concerned, related specifically with petroleum exploration within its offshore continental shelf area.
Guyana has an ongoing ” dispute ” with Venezuela, now at the mercy of ICJ, The Hague. Extensive further information on this dispute can be found in my Post nr. 25, Chapter Petroleum Exploration.
Imagine what would nesessarily happen if the boundaries were to be adapted, changed, and detrimental to Guyana (…Transnational petroleum negotiations, settlements, unitizations, repayments of already produced petroleum etc. etc. etc.). Especially the most western area where Ranger – 1 discovery is located could be vulnerable…
French Guyana was so wise to simply ban petroleum exploration. Au revoir, a bientôt ?
Mr. Petroleum. Amen. With a marble cross. R.I.P. This is the Paris Accord 2015 era. C’est ça, simplement, mademoiselle et monsieur.
The outer limit area of Suriname is now also ready for lucrative deep sea mining.
Deep sea mining is a relatively new mineral retrieval process that takes place on the ocean floor. Ocean mining sites are usually around large areas of polymetallic nodules or active and extinct hydrothermal vents at 1,400 to 3,700 metres below the ocean’s surface.The vents create globular or massive sulfide deposits, which contain valuable metals such as silver, gold, copper, manganese, cobalt, and zinc.
The Suriname outer limit area obtained does have a good potential for existence of these metal-rich massive sulfude deposits. Both extinct as well as active deposits. This given the fact that this area consists of oceanic crust. With a continual and still ongoing steady development history of seafloor spreading and ocean crust formation. With right lateral shearing and fracturing, along major strike slip major zones, where possible deposits can be located, since Upper Cenomanian time.
The transition from continental to oceanic crust is particularly very dramatic, and within a short distance just north of the Demerara Rise. Along a major transcurrent fault. It is one of the few and unique places on earth where this transition is so fast and obvious.
Deep sea mining therefore does have as a clear potential. It could contribute substantially to the economy and GDP of Suriname in the future. It is a very valuable, offshore “green and renewable asset ” in line with the Paris Accord 2015.
In my humble explorationists vision it offers Suriname a unique opportunity that is relatively simple to execute. To further explore, to harvest and eventually to reap monetary benefits from these natural riches. Unfortunately these are usually overlooked as they are not familiar to most country policy makers.
Deep sea mining has been in my own mindset since I studied my second specialisation, ore geology. With renowned ore geologist prof. drs. Willem Uiyttenbogaard, at VU Amsterdam and Delft University, MIjnbouwkunde Faculteit in 1975.
At present the Pacific Island States are actively participating in a deep sea minerals project (SOPAC/SPC). They have been conducting sea floor mapping and sampling programs. And have indeed discovered massive sulphide deposits, containing localised concentrations of copper, lead, zinc and significant amounts of gold and silver. As well as manganese nodules with notable concentrations of nickel, cobalt, sometimes together with high concentrations of rare-earth elements. In 2011 Papua New Guinea became the first country to issue a mining license within its territorial waters.
A road that Suriname could also follow.
Mi Switi Sranan, vaderland/moederland van mijn grootouders en ouders. What are you waiting for ???
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Doei, salu2, ciao, até logo, grüssen, cordialement, salut, добрый день, ajoo, tur kos bon mi dushi hendenan na Switi Sranan i mi famiri na switi Korsou, tan bun allamala !
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