36. Geo-Art: Liza in 2008. Deep Sea Fans and Canyon Heads

Guiana-Suriname Basin - Play Concept & Petroleum Habitat
Guiana-Suriname Basin - Play Concept & Petroleum Habitat
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Guiana-Suriname Basin – Play Concepts & Petroleum Habitat

36. Geo-Art: Liza in 2008. Deep Sea Fans and Canyon Heads

Deep sea fans and canyon head deposits on the Continental Shelf, Guiana-Suriname Basin, 2008.

This is geo-art based on petroleum exploration geosciences.

Acryl paintings made in 2008.

Eight years before giant Liza 2015 offshore discovery. She was still on the waiting list. ” In-statu-nascendi “. Patiently waiting to be magnificently drilled and discovered by ExxonMobil.

An artistic expression of already a common situation offshore Guiana-Suriname Basin.

In my geo-mind ?

I had already imagined, constructed, admired, cherished and unveiled them.

Representing the giant Berbice canyon and its head, funnelling and guiding prospective turbidites. Slope, channel complexes and deeps fans. That were supplied by their provenance area on the Guyana Shield hinterland. Debouching and deposited via mainly 3 canyons, on the continental slope and splaying further onto the abyssal plain deep offshore.

From Lower Cretaceous times onwards.

Much later to become very popular leads, prospects and eventually giant petroleum fields, in 2015. In the Upper Cretaceous and Tertiary sediments. Sparking the in 2021 ongoing Black Gold Rush.

       The ” Guiana-Suriname Golden Lane ” (GSGL), already some 21                    discoveries.

These paintings were hanging on the walls of my office in Staatsolie.


The play concept and petroleum habitat. Beautifully painted in acrylic. Impressionism, Vincent Van Gogh style ?

Already in 2008.

Pre-discovery time ?

” Petroleum is first found in the mind of the explorer “.


Liza…and 21 others, at May 2021, already some 10+ billion bbls recoverable reserves,

some 15 remaining propects just in Stabroek License,

Orinduik, much more to come.

Also in nearby licenses and in Suriname (Block 58, Kwaskwasi). Many more to come. Already some 1.4 billion bbls in 2021. Plus all the remaining similar fans in this block at the eastern end of GSGL.


Liza Deepsea Fans & Canyon Head - Guiana- Suriname Basin - 2008 - M.A. Chin-A-Lien
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Liza Deepsea Fans & Canyon Head – Guiana-Suriname Basin – 2008 – Artistic interpretation and Acryl painting by Mrs. M.A. Chin-A-Lien, Paramaribo, 2008.

Why ?

I had the privilige to work on the whole Guiana-Suriname Basin for an extended time. Serving also Staatsolie, Suriname as an exploration advisor.

Part of this technical work I presented in december 2009. On offshore Guiana-Suriname Basin. A summary of the whole gamut of play types, leads and their prospectivity. In tandem herewith the newly re-defined licence blocks on offer in Suriname, then mainly open. This in line of the strategy to actively promote offshore Suriname to IOC’s. Now most fortunately most licensed. Even Demerara High area.


Excellent PSC’s (66% Government Take).

Mind you. No fuzzing and fighting. No public discussions. No uncertainties. All transparent. Black on white. Professionally. Signed.

Beforehand, of course, a most clear view and strategy. A pre-defined level playing field set. What exactly do we want. What exactly we do not want. Who do we want. Who do we not want. Like it or not. No complaints. Negotiated, give and take, no-yes-no-yes-no-Yezzz. Agreed, mutually, sure-about-it? Yes, signed, silent and go for it.


Staatsolie, is a unique role model. For developing countries. Founded and grown up from scratch. Within others by geologist Dr. Eddie Jharap himself, the first and longstanding managing director. Please read his interesting book and biography on how he did it. Awesome.

Staatsolie now?

A grown-up and fully respected oil firm. With both technical and managerial grounded expertise in the whole value chain of oil and gas. Amazing, they did it on their own, they did it their way. Silently.

 Dr. Jharap was about to finish his studies with structural geologist professor L.U. de Sitter. When I arrived as a green rookie at our mutual Alma Mater, Leiden.

My presentation was in Trinidad, Port of Spain during the Caribbean Energy Conference.

These 2 paintings were created by my dear wife. She is a painter and artist as well, within others. She studied at art academies in Venezuela, the Netherlands, Spain, Madrid. Sranankondre, Paramaribo at Nola Hatterman Art Academy, with guidance of two well known, splendid and colorful local artists, Wilgo Vijfhoven and Rinaldo Klas.

She accompanied me during the presentation. Is really fascinated by the dynamics of the canyons, turbidites and deep fans.

These paintings were made by her on my request.

First presented, during her art exhibition titled ” A Tribute to Suriname ” in April 2010. Together with other 25 paintings. In Paramaribo, Suriname. Sponsored by the Embassy and Consulate of Venezuela, that has a special cultural area and building, such as for art expositions.

I wish to share it with you, enjoy.

Liza Deepsea Fans & Canyon Head - Guiana- Suriname Basin - 2008 - M.A. Chin-A-Lien
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Liza Deepsea Fans & Canyon Head – Guiana- Suriname Basin – 2008 – Artistic interpretation and Acryl painting by Mrs. M.A. Chin-A-Lien, Paramaribo, 2008.

As an art lover, contantly stepping in and out of museums, art galleries etc. etc., wherever I go and can go. Since being a kid at high school, till now I have never seen any other oil or acryl paintings of this subject. Not even in my favourite museum in Amsterdam. Van Gogh museum. Neither in the Palazzo degli Uffizi della bella Firenze. Of course.


A few neat hand drawings (no, not computer generated) of him, Poet, paleontologist and also mining engineer. His interesting sketches and notes on geology in general are conserved today at the archive in Weimar. Mr. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. 

Sure, sure, sure. Almost forgot him. Sorry, before quitting. The greatest genius all times. Even though he never painted or published on relativity theory, quantum mechanics and black holes.

He was not just a great painter.

He was also a brilliant geologist,

as the latest instalment of an interactive series on his drawings revealed. Rocks pile and gather and disintegrate in mountains, caves, strata and screes in his paintings. The two versions of his picture of The Virgin of the Rocks in the National Gallery’s exhibition of his art glory in two different imaginary caverns. Each with its own rich earthscape of stone perforated and sculpted by wind and water. But he did not only look at stone from a painter’s point of view. It was not a background feature in his eyes. It was a scientific problem.

As a geologist he anticipated the scientists of the 18th and 19th centuries who were to prove that the Earth is far older than it says in the book of Genesis. When scientific pioneers around 1800 recognised fossils for what they are, traces of ancient animal, and analysed the processes that create and erode rocks, they quickly reached a set of conclusions that led to Darwin’s theory of evolution and a crisis of Christianity. But amazingly, this self-taught researcher thought through a lot of their key discoveries. Hundreds of years earlier ?

Leonardo da Vinci


If you have seen other Liza subsurface discoveries in oil or acryl paintings ? Please let me know, a reference of the artist and/or a picture. Who knows yourself are a geo-artist as well ? Would like to see them. Many thanks in advance.


Enjoying the subsurface discoveries, also in art paintings on the wall.


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