Chile's Enap to Launch Exploration Tenders for 5 O&G Blocks

SANTIAGO (Dow Jones Newswires), Dec. 20, 2010

Chilean state oil and gas company Empresa Nacional de Petroleo will launch tender for the exploration of five oil and gas blocks in the southernmost Magallanes region, the company said Monday.

In 2007, Chile's Mining Ministry launched the country's first tender for oil and gas exploration and the winning bidders signed special operating contracts, known here as CEOPs, with the government.

The CEOPs have a maximum 35-year term, including a seven- to 10-year exploration phase and several of these were signed as joint ventures with Enap, as the state oil and gas company is known.

On Monday, Enap announced it would tender CEOPs for the Isla Norte, Campanario, Flamenco, San Sebastian and Marazzi-Lago Mercedes blocks in Magallanes.

At the last of these five blocks, oil and gas have already been discovered, but these resources haven't been developed due to technical complexities and the lack of production infrastructure on the island of Tierra del Fuego at the southernmost tip of the continent.

The state company didn't provide details on the dates for the tender nor when the tender rules and information would be available.

Enap is currently pumping oil and gas from the Magallanes region, although in small quantities.

Copyright (c) 2010 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.