Suriname state oil company considers share offering

Sat Jul 21, 2012 4:58am IST

Related Topics

Stocks

   

* Revenue could help finance oil exploration

* 1999 effort to privatize Staatsolie sparked protests

By Ank Kuipers

PARAMARIBO, July 20 (Reuters) - Suriname state oil company Staatsolie is considering selling stock through a partial privatization similar to those carried out by state energy firms in Colombia and Brazil, a company official said on Friday.

The government is preparing to conduct a study on a possible share offer, which could help the small South American nation finance exploration of onshore and offshore areas that have drawn the interest of oil companies including Chevron.

Suriname will likely approach any stock sale with caution given that a plan to privatize Staatsolie in 1999 was met with widespread protests that ultimately forced the president to leave office.

"Staatsolie wants to explore the possibility of issuing shares," said the company's general manager Marc Waaldijk in a statement. "The state can sell a minority of its shares and use the proceeds for high-priority national objectives."

A committee made up of state and company officials will conduct a study and offer a recommendation to the government.

Waaldijk said the goal would be to create an ownership structure similar to that of Brazil's Petrobras or Colombia's Ecopetrol, which sold shares to private investors but left the government in control of key decisions.

Staatsolie, which produces 16,000 barrels per day, has already carried out a local bond issue for $55 million and secured a $245 million loan from a consortium of foreign lenders. In 2010, it reported revenue of $566 million and a before-tax profit of $291 million.

Global energy companies have shown a growing interest in the energy potential of South America's northeastern shoulder. A 2011 discovery off the coast of French Guiana was described as "game changer" for the region's oil prospects.

Oil companies including Repsol and Exxon have been invited to explore off the coast of Guyana, which lies to the west of Suriname.

Chevron in June announced a deal with oil and gas company Kosmos Energy that gave it a 50 percent working interest in two blocks off Suriname's coast.

Suriname is also considering selling shares in telecommunications firm Telesur and Surinam Airways, which are state owned, and bank Hakrinbank, which is partly owned by the government.

FILED UNDER:
Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

Sino-Indian Ties

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Eyeing Stocks

Eyeing Stocks

Interview - EPFO chief urges green light to buy stocks  Full Article 

Stimulus Reports

Stimulus Reports

China cenbank injects $81 bln into major banks to support economy - reports  Full Article 

Ranbaxy Investigation

Ranbaxy Investigation

Ranbaxy says U.S. authorities seek information on pricing data.  Full Article 

Monsoon Update

Monsoon Update

Delayed retreat of monsoon rains to start this weekend  Full Article 

Financing Deal

Financing Deal

IndiGo agrees $2.6 billion aircraft finance deal with China's ICBC  Full Article 

Fed Policy Meeting

Fed Policy Meeting

Fed could hint on rate-hike plans as it prepares for policy turn  Full Article 

Grim Outlook

Grim Outlook

Sony deepens loss estimate on struggling smartphone business  Full Article 

Sugar Surplus

Sugar Surplus

India to produce surplus sugar for fifth straight year - industry body  Full Article 

Business Sentiment

Business Sentiment

China, Singapore slowdown weigh on Q3 Asia business sentiment   Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage