Ministry Awards Geopark Exploration Contract

Chile's mining ministry has awarded Bermudan energy firm Geopark a special hydrocarbons operating contract (CEOP) for the exploration of the Fell block in Chile's southern Region XII, the ministry said in a statement.

The contract includes a permit for hydrocarbons production if reserves are found, the statement said.

Although Chile's constitution awards the state "absolute, exclusive and inalienable" control over all coal and hydrocarbons deposits in the country, it does not prevent private firms from carrying out exploration or production of hydrocarbons, newspaper Diario Financiero reported.

Other companies including Chile's state oil firm Enap, Canada's Cordex Petroleum and local power generator AES Gener had previously been awarded similar contracts to carry out exploration work on the Fell block since 1997, the statement said.

Geopark has operations in Chile and Argentina with offices in Bermuda, Santiago and Buenos Aires.

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