The block is believed to host exploration plays analogous to the prolific ones seen offshore Guyana – where Exxon struck oil in 15 consecutive wells
() has expanded its footprint, acquiring acreage offshore Uruguay.
The company said it has been awarded the OFF-1 licence which has been estimated internally to host 1bn barrels of oil equivalent resource potential.
Specifically, the company noted the presence of multiple exploration plays in relatively shallow waters across the new licence, which spans some 15,000 square kilometres.
It highlighted that the play system in the licence is believed to be “directly analogous” to the prolific Cretaceous turbidite discoveries that are currently being evaluated and developed offshore Guyana and Suriname.
“The current period of introspection in our industry is presenting nimble, forward-thinking companies such as ourselves with compelling opportunities to expand our portfolio and achieve countercyclical growth,” Simon Potter, BPC chief executive said in a statement.
“The recently-closed open licencing round in Uruguay presented exactly such an opportunity for us where, for very low cost, we have been able to secure an exploration licence of an extremely high-calibre that, even as recently as a few months ago, we most likely would have been outbid on by much larger players.”
Potter noted that the acreage is an underappreciated opportunity and that there is extensive existing seismic, of various vintages, and it requires the application of modern seismic imaging technology and techniques to understand the full extent of the petroleum resource.
The licence has a four-year initial exploration period in which the company is obligated to reprocess and reinterpret existing 2D seismic data. There are no drilling commitments attached to the first phase of the licence.
BPC described it as a low-cost option and as such noted that it is similar to the arrangements it initially had in the Bahamas before the exploration assets were advanced.
Moreover, the company said it believes that the OFF-1 licence in Uruguay has the capacity to generate similar value uplift to the company’s existing licences in the Bahamas.
The group continues to look forward to drilling the Perseverance-1 exploration well in the Bahamas in late Q4 2020/early 2021. Perseverance-1 is targeting some 770mln barrels of potential resources, plus possible upside of around 1.44bn barrels.
“The scale of the opportunity that our planned drilling campaign in The Bahamas may unlock for us, at the end of 2020, means that our personnel are and will remain entirely focussed on their efforts to deliver the Perseverance #1 exploration well successfully,” Potter added.