Japan’s INPEX has signed an agreement to acquire a 30% participating interest in exploration Area 15 (the Block) offshore Oriental Republic of Uruguay (Uruguay) from TULLOW URUGUAY LIMITED, a subsidiary of Tullow Oil plc (Tullow), an independent E&P company based in the United Kingdom.
This is the first time for INPEX to participate in oil and gas exploration activities in Uruguay. This transaction is subject to the satisfaction of certain conditions including Uruguayan government approval.
The Block is located approximately 200km eastern offshore of Uruguay, and covers an area of 8,030 km2 with a water depth of approximately 2,000 to 3,300m. The Block was awarded to TULLOW URUGUAY LIMITED in the Uruguayan Second Bidding Round in March 2012. After the farm-in deal completion, TULLOW URUGUAY LIMITED will continue to act as the operator and retain a 70% participating interest, while INPEX Uruguay, Ltd. will hold a 30% participating interest. Exploration activities including three-dimensional seismic data acquisition work have been conducted in the block since last December.
Offshore Uruguay is a frontier area largely unexplored for oil and gas, and is expected to be promising for oil and gas discoveries. The farm-in will further enhance INPEX’s E&P asset portfolio, as one of the measures for growth as addressed in the “Medium-to Long-Term Vision of INPEX” released in May 2012, while strengthening a partnership with Tullow, which focuses on E&P activities in frontier areas. INPEX will actively seek for high quality projects and participate in prospective areas including frontier areas where large-scale reserves of oil and gas are expected.