GeoPark Holdings Limited announced that the Ministry of Mining in Chile has awarded the Otway Block in southern Chile to a consortium consisting of GEOPARK (42%), Methanex Corporation of Canada (16%) and Wintershall Energia SA, a division of BASF Ag of Germany (42%).
The Otway Block is a large new attractive exploration area (5,992 square kilometers) located in the Magallanes region near GEOPARK's Fell Block operation in Chile. GEOPARK is the first and only private-sector oil and gas producer in Chile and the addition of the new Otway Block will further enhance GEOPARK's position as the premier private-sector oil and gas operator in Chile.
The Otway Block will add significantly to GEOPARK's opportunity portfolio and its high potential exploration acreage complements GEOPARK's lower risk development and production opportunities in its nearby Fell Block which has been producing since 2006. GEOPARK earlier in 2008 entered into an agreement, which is subject to the approval of the Chilean Ministry of Mines, to acquire a 30% interest in the Tranquilo Block which is another large hydrocarbon block (6,662 sq km) adjacent and north of the Otway Block.
If all government approvals are obtained regarding the Tranquilo and Otway Blocks, GEOPARK will own three blocks in Chile representing over 3.5 million gross acres. In Argentina, GEOPARK owns three blocks totaling 240,000 net acres.
Gerald E. O'Shaughnessy, Chairman of GEOPARK, said, "We are very pleased with this new block award in Chile. It substantially increases our acreage position and substantially expands our opportunity portfolio -- all in a region where we are firmly established with the necessary people, capital and infrastructure (assets and equipment) and where we are building a successful track record of finding oil and gas. It further demonstrates that our long term strategy and commitment in Chile are showing results. GEOPARK looks forward to a long and successful future investing in energy production in Chile."
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