|08PARAMARIBO58||2008-02-14 17:00:00||UNCLASSIFIED||Embassy Paramaribo|
1. (U) Post is please to provide information on our work on
energy-related issues. Answers are keyed to REFTEL.
A. The Political-Economic Section handles energy matters. The
section totals 7 staff: political-economic officer (USDH), political
officer (USDH, who also covers public diplomacy at our non-public
diplomacy presence post), office management specialist (EFM), and
LES employees (4): economic assistant, political assistant,
commercial assistant, and public diplomacy assistant. No staffers
are dedicated exclusively to working on energy issues.
B. Positions that work on energy matters. One USDH
political-economic officer: 5 percent of the time. One LES
economic assistant: 5 percent of the time.
C. The political-economic officer and the economic assistant have
main responsibility for tracking and reporting on issues pertaining
to energy in Suriname. They maintain contacts within the
government and private sector on energy-related issues. The
political officer and political assistant reported on political
issues that tangentially affected the energy sector.
(1) The onshore oil sector is one of the primary sources of income
for the Government of Suriname, and U.S. firms participate in the
oil sector. In 2007, Post reported on the maritime border dispute
between Guyana and Suriname, which held at stake prospects of
exploring offshore oil reserves. This dispute was settled by an
International Tribunal on the Law of the Sea in fall 2007. With the
settlement of this dispute, there is potential for enormous growth
if offshore reserves can be located and proven to be economically
viable. There is opportunity for U.S. firms to be involved in this
(2) Post reported on how the continuous shortage in energy has
affected larger investments opportunities in Suriname.
(3) Post reported on Suriname's deliberations on the PetroCaribe
Deal with Venezuela.
(4) We also kept tabs on the condition of the state-owned
electricity company EBS, and on the availability of energy from the
hydrodam that is currently under the management of the U.S. company
Alcoa's wholly-owned Surinamese subsidiary, Suralco.
(5) Post reported on the Government of France's proposal to link the
energy systems of Suriname and French Guiana so that the two
countries can engage in energy-sharing.
(6) Non-U.S. firms have shown recent interest in investing in
bio-fuels and alternative energy sources in Suriname. While none of
these companies have invested in Suriname yet, Post is keeping
abreast of the reports. One company has signed a deal with the
Government of Suriname but has been unable to implement this deal
due to local opposition.
(1) Personnel: As 5% of political-economic officer and economic
assistant's time was spent on energy-related issues, this equates to
$4,000 USD of paid to staff for their work on energy-related issues.
(2) Programs: Post had no funding for energy-related programs.