Chile to Tender Ten E&P Blocks in May

Chile's President Michelle Bachelet has announced the government will launch an E&P tender for ten blocks in region XII in May, the energy and mines ministry said in a statement.

It previously was unclear how many of the 10 blocks would be open to tender as minister Karen Poniachik said in October state oil company Enap would be open to developing at least three of the blocks in conjunction with other companies.

Enap has been aware of sizable gas reserves in region XII for decades but only now have gas prices reached levels high enough to make E&P feasible in the region.

The company began E&P work on the Lago Mercedes block in 2005 and Bermuda-based energy firm Geopark holds a special hydrocarbons operating contract (CEOP) for the Fell block. Otherwise, region XII's gas reserves remain largely untapped.


Bachelet also announced that in April the government will publish technical rules for the use of biofuels in vehicles.

State development agency Corfo will allow companies and technological centers to access financial instruments to promote biofuels.

"These are important announcements that open new investment alternatives for the private sector and point to the development of national energy resources," Rodrigo Iglesias, executive secretary of energy regulator CNE, said in the statement.

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