U.S.-based oil company Occidental Petroleum Corp. has partnered with Amerisur Resources Plc on four exploration and production blocks in southern Colombia, near the border with Ecuador, the National Hydrocarbons Agency (ANH) said on June 11.
The Tacacho, Terecay, PUT-9 and Mecaya blocks are in the jungle region of Putumayo, one of the provinces with the greatest potential for oil discovery.
Amerisur, which will continue as operator of the blocks, ceded 50% of its participation in the blocks to Occidental, the ANH said.
“These are four very important blocks in Putumayo, a very prospective area of the country that's developing in leaps and bounds,” ANH President Luis Miguel Morelli said in a statement.
The extension of the four blocks exceeds 554,000 hectares, the statement said.
Colombia has proven reserves of almost 2 billion barrels, equivalent to 6.2 years of consumption, with a current average production of 865,000 barrels per day.
The South American country is seeking to increase reserves to at least 10 years of consumption by offering areas for exploration, allowing companies to apply to explore in blocks of interest and making contracts more flexible.
Egypt expects investments of at least $750 million to $800 million in the first stage of exploration in the 12 concessions, Petroleum Minister Tarek El Molla said during a press conference.
Country plans to award up to $1.8 billion in contracts by September.
Qatar Petroleum said March 11 it had struck a deal with Italy's Eni to acquire a 25.5% participating interest in block A5A in the Angoche Basin, offshore Mozambique.