The Uruguayan offshore platform continues to advance its global positioning and increase its economic value as the Irish firm Tullow Oil, which is currently conducting exploration work in Block 15 of the Uruguayan offshore platform, sold 30% of its stake in its exploration contract to leading Japanese oil company Inpex.
In statements to El Observador, ANCAP’s exploration and production manager Hector Santa Ana stated that both companies have already drafted a farm out (transfer of rights) for ANCAP’s approval.
Santa Ana said that this type of transaction (the sale of part of the blocks) was within the possibilities outlined in the contract the Uruguayan State signed with the four companies operating the eight blocks of the Uruguay Ronda II, albeit within certain limits. Each company may divest up to a maximum of 30% of its stake in the block, but cannot forsake its main operator status in its assigned area.
This kind of news is positive for the entire offshore Uruguay basin. Today Tullow is selling its 30% stake at a higher price than its original bid for this block, said Santa Anta. He said that only formal ANCAP approval is pending as there are no technical or financial objections. Inpex is the leading oil company in Japan, and is one of the top 100 largest companies in its sector. Santa Ana stressed that the participation of the Japanese company is positive because it dilutes the risk and ensures more financial support to meet the scheduled exploration studies.
ANCAP has received a proposal from one of the world's leading oil companies to take up the place left vacant by Brazil's Petrobras, which today has 40% interest in Blocks 3 and 4 of the Uruguayan offshore platform, a move within the overall strategy outlined by Petrobras management. Santa Ana declined to identify the company until the official proposal is not tendered to the board.
More than U.S. $ 500 million
A year into the exploration of the eight offshore platform blocks has seen in excess of U.S. $ 500 invested by BG, BP, Total and Tullow Oil, out of the $ 1,562 million agreed. Some companies have carried out 75% of its various 2D and 3D seismic surveys at the different blocks awarded.