ANH Approves Two E&P Contracts for BHP Billiton

The board of Colombia's hydrocarbons regulator ANH has approved two E&P contracts with Anglo-Australian resources company BHP Billiton (NYSE: BHP) for the Fuerte Nor and Fuerte Sur blocks in the Caribbean basin, an ANH spokesperson told BNamericas, confirming a report in local newspaper La Republica.

The six-year contracts were approved on January 26 and the company has one month from that date to sign the agreements, the spokesperson said.

BHP previously held technical evaluation agreements (TEAs) for the blocks, which the company decided to convert to E&P contracts.

The contracts have six phases, each of which lasts roughly one year. The company is obliged to invest US$13mn in each block through the first two phases, according to the spokesperson.

Each of the blocks is roughly 470,000ha and is located directly south of Colombia's Tayrona block, which is being explored by Colombia's state oil company Ecopetrol, Brazil's federal energy company Petrobras (NYSE: PBR) and US oil company ExxonMobil (NYSE: XOM), the spokesperson said.

Tayrona exploration partners expect to find gas rather than oil in the block, according to a previous BNamericas report.

BHP Billiton also has production operations in Trinidad & Tobago.

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