Block 14 is located in the Pelotas basin of the South Atlantic Ocean, approximately 200 kilometers off the coast of Uruguay. It covers an area of 6,690 square kilometers in water depths of 1,850 to 3,500 meters.

Statoil has acquired 15% working interest from operator Total. This transaction is pending governmental approval. Total retains a 50% working interest. The partnership also includes ExxonMobil Exploration and Production Uruguay B.V. with 35% working interest.

“With this transaction, we are positioning ourselves in yet another underexplored basin with upside potential. This is in line with our exploration strategy of early access at scale, and strengthens Statoil’s long-term international portfolio,” says Nicholas Alan Maden, senior vice president for exploration in Statoil.

Total has completed an extensive data collection program, including acquiring new 3D seismic data covering the block. The partnership is now preparing to drill the Raya prospect during the first half of 2016.

“It is exciting that we are able to test this opportunity so quickly, to explore a new geological concept in this frontier deep-water area,” says Maden.

Block 14 was awarded to Total in 2012. Based on the results of the Raya well, the partnership will decide further steps.

Statoil’s entry into Uruguay further expands its extensive position in Latin-America. In neighboring Brazil, Statoil operates the Peregrino field, the Pão de Açúcar discovery and holds a large portfolio of exploration acreage. Statoil is also present in Mexico, Nicaragua, Colombia, Venezuela and Suriname.

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