The Uruguayan government announced on Friday the presence of hydrocarbons in the north west of the country, in the framework of exploratory drilling by US based Schuepbach Energy. The discovery took place in the county of Paysandu, some 400kms north of the capital Montevideo.
However the government has said that it is still too early to determine if the well could be commercially viable and no further information will be forthcoming until a full analysis of the geology is completed.
Energy, Industry and Mining minister Carolina Cosse said that there is much work ahead, and much analyzing to be made. The announcement is very important for Uruguay, so let's not get dizzy about it and act prudently.
The well identified as Cerro Padilla X-1 is located in Paysandu, in the Salto and Piedra Sola exploration area, was drilled to a depth of 845 meters, and the profile showed two meters of sandy soil saturated with hydrocarbons at 793 meters, which generated the expectation of finding for the first time oil on shore Uruguay.
This is the first exploratory drilling in the country in thirty years, and the fluorescence, which helps detect the presence of hydrocarbons was confirmed along the two meters stretch, pointed out the official release.
Uruguay's crude refining and distribution monopoly, Ancap, in 2012, signed the first exploration and exploitation on shore contracts with Shuepbach Energy Uruguay, a subsidiary of Schuepbach Energy, in the framework of exploratory activities.
A previous experience offshore with the French company Total, drilling an exploratory well, over 3.000 meters deep, some 200 miles to the southeast of the country, hoping to locate the southern tip of Brazil's oil rich Pelotas basin, resulted in a dry attempt.