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ANCAP signs contracts for four licenses offshore Uruguay

Challenger Energy has submitted geotechnical reports for the AREA OFF-1 offshore license to the Uruguayan regulator ANCAP.

Pending the review and approval, the company says it has now fulfilled the minimum work obligations for the license’s first exploration period, which started in August 2022 and runs through August 2026.

It also has completed additional discretionary tasks to improve the technical understanding of the acreage.

Earlier this week, contract signings took place in Montevideo for the four more offshore exploration licenses (AREAs OFF-2, OFF-5, OFF-6 and OFF-7) that had been awarded, to Shell, YPF and APA Corp.

Challenger, which was invited to attend the proceedings, said ANCAP should also sign off the contract for AREA OFF-4 with APA-Shell, which is adjacent to AREA OFF-1.

Signing of the contract for Challenger’s AREA OFF-3 license, which is Uruguay’s last remaining offshore block that was awarded to the company this May, should follow shortly thereafter.

For the newly signed licenses, the minimum work program commitments carry more extensive work commitments than AREA OFF-1 and AREA OFF-3, and they include 3D seismic acquisition and reprocessing, and in the case of APA Corp.’s OFF-6 block, one deepwater exploration well.

Seismic acquisition providers can now initiate permitting and approval processes for potential 3D programs that could get underway by late 2024 or early 2025.

Challenger expects to conclude its AREA OFF-1 farm-out process during first-quarter 2024. Prospects in the license could be included in the 3D seismic campaigns.

Source: OffShore