IFC to Invest US$10mn Equity in GeoPark Holdings

The International Finance Corporation, the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, has signed an agreement to invest US$10mn in equity in GeoPark Holdings Limited, an independent oil and gas producer with operations in Argentina and Chile, the IFC said in a statement.

IFC's financial support will help the company in the early stage of development by strengthening its capital base and refining its corporate governance practices, the statement said.

IFC will also play an important role in helping GeoPark identify opportunities for community development near its operations in both countries.

In addition, IFC will assist the company in establishing an integrated environmental, health, safety, and social management system in line with both World Bank Group standards and international best practices.

IFC expects to follow up the equity investment with a long-term loan to GeoPark of up to US$20mn.

"We are delighted to partner with GeoPark in an investment that helps Argentina and Chile optimize their use of natural resources by developing much needed oil and gas reserves," said Somit Varma, associate director of IFC's oil, gas, mining, and chemicals department.

GeoPark currently operates three blocks in Argentina and one block in Chile. The Del Mosquito block in Argentina's Austral basin and the Cerro Dona Juana and Loma Cortaderal blocks in the Neuquén basin are 100%-owned by the company, while the Fell block in Chile's Magallanes region is 90% owned by GeoPark with the remaining interest held by state oil firm Enap.

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