Magallanes Tender Attract 20 Companies

Twenty companies have purchased technical information for 10 hydrocarbons blocks in southern Chile's Magallanes basin, the mining ministry said in a statement.

Companies had until August 9 to acquire technical information. Companies purchasing the data packages came from the US, China, Canada, New Zealand, the UK, Spain, France, Argentina, Brazil, Peru and Colombia.

Interest from large multinationals and junior companies surpassed the ministry's expectations for the tender, according to the statement.

Technical information on the Tranquilo, Coiron and Caupolican blocks drew the most interest from potential investors.

State oil company Enap will hold 50% of the Coiron, Caupolican and Lenga blocks but will not act as operator.

A private company or consortium will hold 100% remaining blocks including Tranquilo, Russfin, Porvenir, Brotula, Isla Magdalena, Bahia Inutil and Otway.

Brotula, Isla Magdalena and Bahia Inutil are offshore while Otway is onshore and offshore. The remaining blocks are onshore.

The 10 blocks together cover 32,356 km2.

Natural gas in southern Chile's Magallanes region could meet the country's needs for the next 20 years, Enap president Enrique Davila previously said.

Companies have until August 24 to make consultations with the ministry and must submit bids by October 10.

Awards will be announced on November 15 and the government aims to sign contracts in December.

Winners will sign special operating contracts (CEOP) with the government that will run up to 35 years, including a maximum 25-year production phase.

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