Suriname, a country of approximately 560 000 inhabitants, has a long history of developing extractive resources. The country’s economy is highly dependent on the extractive sector; oil and gold account for approximately 85% of the country’s exports and 27% of its government revenues.
Suriname’s national oil company, Staatsolie, plays a dominant role in the country’s oil sector and was mainly active in onshore production until 2016. Since then, Staatsolie has been the contracting party on behalf of the government for offshore exploration agreements with international oil companies.
Suriname’s mining sector, historically driven by bauxite production, is mainly dominated by gold, which accounted for nearly three-quarters of the country’s exports in 2017. Artisanal and small-scale gold mining also plays an important role in Suriname.
EITI Suriname aims to use the EITI platform to mainstream EITI reporting in government systems, disseminate key information on the sector, strengthen beneficial ownership disclosure and expand EITI reporting to also include construction materials.
The EITI process has motivated government agencies to overcome challenges regarding royalty payments made by gold exporters and to involve them in the EITI process to improve royalty disclosures.
EITI implementation in Suriname has led Staatsolie to commit to make Production Sharing Contracts (PSCs) publicly available.
Civil society has a wide representation in Suriname’s EITI multi-stakeholder group, which includes a seat for an Indigenous and Tribal Peoples (ITPs) representative.
Extractive sector data
Production and exports
Top paying companies
Extractive sector management
Tax and legal framework
Suriname’s mining sector is governed by the Mining Decree (1986) and regulated by the Ministry of Natural Resources, the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Regional Development and the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Tourism. The oil and sector is governed by the Petroleum Act (1990) and is mainly regulated by Staatsolie. The legal and fiscal framework for the oil, gas and mining sector is also supported by other legislation, including the Corporate Income Tax Act and Dividend Tax Act.
Licenses and contracts
Applications for mining rights are processed by the Geological Mining Service (GMD) and are reviewed and approved by the Ministry of Natural Resources in accordance with the Mining Decree. Suriname does not have a public mining license register, however some information about issued licenses is included in EITI Reports.
Oil and gas licenses are first awarded to Staatsolie which, as regulator of the petroleum industry, has continued to promote open offshore blocks via an “open door invitation” bidding system for international oil companies. Staatsolie awards hydrocarbon licenses in the form of production sharing contracts (PSCs). The Ministry of Natural Resources does not maintain a register for hydrocarbon concessions granted to Staatsolie, and the oil license register maintained by Staatsolie is not publicly available. Some contracts, including the model PSC, are available via resourceontracts.org.
Suriname does not have a legal framework mandating the disclosure of beneficial ownership. The 2017 EITI Report includes beneficial ownership information for several companies, including RGM, NS, NV1, Kosmos Energy Suriname, Petronas Suriname and Tullow Oil Suriname, however the data is not comprehensive. Information on the beneficial owners of small and medium-scale mining operations is not available.
EITI Suriname agreed a definition of beneficial ownership which will underpin beneficial ownership disclosures in its forthcoming EITI Report.
All extractive revenues flow to the central government, and subnational payments are not applicable in Suriname.
EITI Suriname is administered by the Suriname Multi-Stakeholder Group (MSG), which is hosted by the Ministry of Natural Resources. The MSG is chaired by the Minister of Natural Resources, Mr. David Abiamofo.
Suriname was found to have made meaningful progress in implementing the 2016 EITI Standard in March 2021, following its first Validation. The Validation identified 19 corrective actions to be addressed by the country’s next Validation, expected to commence in April 2023.