Ancap Preparing Offshore Exploration Program

Uruguay's state oil company Ancap is conducting an offshore program to explore for new hydrocarbons reserves, according to a statement posted on the country's presidential website.

To this end, a vessel is conducting prospecting work off the coast of the Uruguayan city of Maldonado, Ancap president Daniel Martínez said.

German seismic company Wavefield's Bergen Sourveyor ship is conducting the tests and results are expected within 50 days, Brazilian press reported.


Plans also are underway to upgrade the La Teja refinery to process heavy crude, Martínez said.

Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez and his Uruguayan counterpart Tabaré Vásquez signed an energy security treaty in August that included refinery work.

Under the terms of the treaty, Ancap will explore the Ayacucho 6 block in the Orinoco heavy crude belt jointly with Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA, which will expand the La Teja refinery in Uruguay from 50,000b/d to 60,000b/d to allow it to process Venezuelan crude.

Ancap has signed various agreements with private companies to produce enough energy to reduce the country's dependence on foreign imports, Martínez said.

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