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The history of Staatsolie starts in the late 1920s of the previous century, when according to tradition, traces of oil were found in the district of Nickerie. In the 60s, oil was struck while drilling for drinking-water wells in the district of Saramacca. But the environment in Suriname and the world was not ideal to  build on the oil discoveries. Due to the oil crisis of the 1970s, the potential of Surinamese oil became interesting to multinationals, but the exploration drilling activities didn’t yield the expected results.

With the establishment of Staatsolie on December 13, 1980, a big step was made in the development of an oil industry of our own. Staatsolie was to execute the new oil policy on behalf of the state of Suriname (the sole shareholder). From then on, foreign companies were no longer granted direct concessions. Oil exploration and production were only possible through service contracts with Staatsolie. In order to gain the necessary knowledge and experience, the former Managing Director, Eddie Jharap, decided to exploit the oil discoveries in Saramacca. After a number of exploration pits and a pilot program, the first commercial production started on November 25, 1982. From then on, many milestones were reached. 

  • A record US$ 99 million in registrations successfully concludes the second Staatsolie bond loan in March. Between 2015 and 2020 Staatsolie invest over US$ 1 billion in further expansion of its operations and several other corporate activities.

  • Suriname Corporation, an Apache Corporation subsidiary, drills an exploration well in offshore Block 53 in the first quarter. Staatsolie signed a production sharing contract with Apache for this block in 2012
  • On 24 June, Staatsolie again signs a production sharing contract with Apache Corporation, this time for offshore Block 58.
  • In the second half of the year, a drilling program is carried out in near shore Block 4. It’s the first time Staatsolie explores oil at own cost at sea. Five wells are drilled, of which four yield oil. The process for finally determining the commercial reserves will take some time. Block 4 covers a 46 kilometer strip along the coasts of the Districts of Saramacca and Wanica and stretches 27 kilometers to the north in the Atlantic Ocean. The depths vary from 0 to 25 meters.
  • The expanded refinery is fully operational in December. With a processing capacity of 15,000 barrels Saramacca Crude a day, the refinery produces premium diesel, premium gasoline, fuel oil, bitumen and sulfuric acid. Staatsolie diesel production can meet the entire local demand, while gasoline production is less than what the market needs
  • After two years of preparations, the capacity of the Staatsolie Power Company Suriname (SPCS) is expanded to 62 megawatt. On 28 February, president Desiré Bouterse officially puts the expanded thermal power station in operation.
  • President Desiré Bouterse performs the inauguration of the New refinery on 13 December.

  • On 22 July Staatsolie produces the 100 millionth barrel of oil, over 30 years after the first barrel was pumped up from the Tambaredjo field on 25 November 1982. 
  • After 40 years the Texaco brand is replaced by GOw2. In December the gas station at the Van ’t Hogerhuysstraat receives the colors, the logo and the furnishing of the new GOw2 identity. 

  • The Staatsolie Power Company Suriname, a Staatsolie subsidiary, becomes a limited liability company by 16 April 2012.
  • Per 1 September Staatsolie officially becomes the owner of the Chevron/Texaco operations in Suriname.
  • With gross revenues exceeding US$ 1 billion Staatsolie earns the status of One Billion Dollar Company.
  • The first bond loan yielded US$ 55.1 million. The means are used to finance the 2008-2012 investment program. 
  • Staatsolie donates US$ 2 million for financing the construction and renovation project of the national blood bank. Managing director Marc Waaldijk makes the donation in June when the Suriname Red Cross Society celebrates its 70th anniversary.
  • In June the Staatsolie Power Company Suriname doubles its generation capacity from 14 to 28 megawatt.
  • The ethanol pilot project commences in December in Wageningen Nickerie. Thirteen sugar cane varieties are tested to determine the one suitable for producing bio fuel. 

  • In May the Staatsolie Workers Association (SWOS) and the management sign a new three-year collective agreement. This is unique, because earlier agreements were for only one year.
  • The American/Dutch company CB&I Lummus BV is awarded the contract for the final predesign phase of the Refinery Expansion Project. The contract is signed on 21 July by Staatsolie managing director Marc Waaldijk and CB&I Lummus CEO  Foeke Kolf.
  • The Staatsolie Foundation for Community Development was founded in February. The organization carries out sustainable projects to serve the Surinamese society.
  • The polymer injection project installations are officially made operational in October. By injecting the polymer in the oil reservoir, oil is driven towards nearby production wells, resulting in more oil being produced by the reservoir. 

The 1,000th well is put into production in the Tambaredjo field.

  • The supervisory board appoints Marc Waaldijk as Managing Director in February.

  • The Calcutta oil field is put into production.

  • Ronald Venetiaan inaugurates the Staatsolie Power Company Suriname in August.

  • Staatsolie achieves a record in bunkering services by supplying over 16,000 barrels to the Brazilian ship Norsul Santos.

  • In May, Natural Resources Minister Franco Demon gives the official start for construction of the Tout Lui Faut power plant. Staatsolie and EBS sign a contract for supply of at least 100 million kilowatt hour a year

  • In December Staatsolie commemorates its 25th birthday. Among others a monument at the Staatsolie headquarters is unveiled and a commemorative book is published, Also, Managing Director Eddie Jharap is bestowed the highest national award: Bearer of the Grand Shahs in the Order of the Yellow Star.


By securing 30 percent of the shares, Staatsolie becomes co-owner of Ventrin Petroleum Company Limited, a Trinidadian bunkering firm supplying services to the ships at Point Lisas and other ports in Trinidad & Tobago.


In May, Staatsolie inaugurates the Sarah Maria EBS substation for distribution of electricity from Paramaribo. 

Staatsolie financed the US$ 1.5 million investment

  • President Jules Wijdenbosch gives the official start for the construction of a 22 kilometers pipeline from the Tout Lui Faut refinery to Suriname Aluminum Company (Suralco) at Paranam.

  • The first turn-around & inspection of the refinery starts in May and will last six weeks.

  • In June, a booster station for the Saramacca –Tout Lui Faut pipeline is put into operation allowing an increase of the pumping capacity to 21,000 barrels a day up from 14,000 barrels.

  • President Jules Wijdenbosch gives the official start for the construction of a 22 kilometers pipeline from the Tout Lui Faut refinery to Suriname Aluminum Company (Suralco) at Paranam.

  • The meritorious award Commander in the Order of the Yellow Star is bestowed on Managing Director Eddie Jharap by president Jules Wijdenbosch in February.

  • Staatsolie bitumen is used for the very first time when the Fredericiweg in Nickerie is paved.

  • In April Staatsolie and local energy company EBS sign a contract for the supply of Staatsolie diesel for the EBS generators in the Saramaccastraat powerplant.

  • On June 4th Managing Director Eddie Jharap is fired by the sole shareholder (the Republic of Suriname), for opposing the selling of Staatsolie to Korean investor Daewoo. Jharap takes to court and wins his case on June 29th . His unfair dismissal is then reversed.

  • For the second time Staatsolie suffers a commercial loss (US$ 3.2 million) owing to a drop of international oil prices to a historical low of US$ 7 per barrel. The economic and political situation in Suriname also affects the company.

  • President Jules Wijdenbosch performs the inauguration of the refinery in August. Production is 8,000 barrels a day.

  • The Pensions Fund for Staatsolie Workers is founded in October. Its objective is management and payment of pensions to eligible persons.

  • In July Staatsolie commences drilling of production wells in the  Tambaredjo field. Exploration had revealed extensive oil deposits in the area.

  • Four process modules for the refinery are built in Italy. Shipping to Suriname takes place in November

  • In February President Ronald Venetiaan gives the starting signal for construction of the refinery. That same day the company signed a US$ 36 million loan contract with a consortium of banks consisting of ABN-AMRO Bank and EFAG Bank (a subsidiary of the Swiss ABB concern). ABB Lummus Global from the Netherlands is awarded the contract for building the refinery.

  • A 25,000 barrels storage tank becomes operational in Jossiekreek in December. The tank is specifically built to prevent interruptions in the flow to Tout Lui Faut and guarantee constant oil production.

  • The 18 hectares site at Tout Lui Faut is being prepared for construction of the refinery.
  • To clean up oil spills, the Staatsolie Oil Spills Response Team (SORT) is founded in November. This team can address any possible spill effectively.


Construction of the underground pipeline from Saramacca to Tout Lui Faut commences in January. The line becomes operational in August.

  • In March company experts start designing and preparing an oil transport line from Saramacca to Tout Lui Faut. Total length: 60 kilometer.

  • The first losses for Staatsolie (US$ 2.3 m) due to a steep dive of the oil price on the international market


Parliament unanimously adopts the Petroleum Act on 13 December. The Act establishes the legal framework to attract foreign investors for the oil industry


Phase 2 of the Refinery Project commences in November. It comprises development of the basic design and conducting a soil and environment study.

  • In February construction of the export terminal at Tout Lui Faut starts
  • In March the first petroleum export (Saramacca Crude) to Trinidad and Tobago takes place.
  • In August the new Staatsolie headquarters at Flora is inaugurated.
  • In April Staatsolie signs the first Collective LabourAgreement with the Staatsolie Workers Union(SWOS), which was founded in 1985
  • Completion of the feasibility study for the construction of the refinery. The results are encouraging enough to start Phase 2.


  • In February Staatsolie and energy company EBS sign an agreement for the construction of a base load power station at Catharina Sophia in the Tambaredjo area (Saramacca).
  • In April two additional tankers, Staatsolie III and IV, are procured.
  • In October the new distribution center in Nieuw- Nickerie becomes operational
  • Production is increased to 2,500 barrels a day.
  • In June Staatsolie signs a loan agreement with ABN Bank in Houston, Texas. The money is used for goods and services for expansion of the production facilities in the Tambaredjo oil field in Saramacca.
  • In October the company signs a contract for offshore oil exploration with a consortium consisting of Energy World Trade, Suralco, Nomeco and Austratex.
  • Staatsolie signs a new contract with Gulf Oil Company for offshore exploration.
  • The company buys its second tanker, the Staatsolie II.
  • In October production increase to 1,000 barrels a day.


  • The first ‘moyno pump’ is installed. This type of pump replaces the nodding donkey (an oil pump with a contra weight on top, moving constantly up and down as if nodding)
  • In December Staatsolie for the first time supplies, Saramacca crude to Suralco, to generate energy for the production of alumina.

Commercial oil production starts on 25 November in the Tambaredjo oil field in Saramacca. The production starts at 200 barrels a day. With a loan secured from a consortium of local banks, Staatsolie sets up a production installation and infrastructure at Catharina Sophia. With the loan the company also buys its first oil tanker.



  • On 13 March the company becomes operational ina building at the Gravenberchstraat. Director Jharaphas a staff of five. The supervisory board, which representsthe government, supervises and gives advice.
  • Preparations for oil exploitation are made near plantation Dankbaarheid in Saramacca.

In May the government appoints the Oil Commission. Chaired by geologist Eduard ‘Eddie’ Jharap the commission is instructed by the State to:

  • Draft and sign contracts with foreign companies,
  • Explore for oil and start exploitation,
  • Prepare the founding of the state oil company.
  • On 13 December the Staatsolie Maatschappij Suriname NV is founded. Eddie Jharap is appointed the first Managing Director.
  • Immediately after its founding, Staatsolie signs a contract with Gulf Oil Company (USA), for offshore oil exploration. Gulf Oil gives technical support to Staatsolie until 1984 to develop the company’s onshore potential.

The exploration for oil reaches its first climax: Shell drills twenty exploration wells at several offshore locations.The operations yield oil, but not in commercially recoverable quantities. Exploration efforts are terminated.


GMD drills another oil well at Jossiekreek (Saramacca); production tests follow.


Drilling by GMD at Weg naar Zee also yields oil.



While drilling for water on a school yard in Calcutta (Saramacca), the Geological Mining Administration (GMD) makes a remarkable find: there is oil at a depth of 160 meters!


Suriname contracts foreign firms for systematic oil exploration on main land and near shore.



For the first time in history of Suriname oil is found in the District of Nickerie.

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