The signing of the contracts in Montevideo today completes the award of the blocks, for which BP was the successful bidder in Uruguay's second offshore licensing round in March 2012.
The contracts cover blocks 11 and 12 in the Pelotas basin and block 6 in the Punta del Este basin. The blocks, which together cover an area of almost 26,000 square kilometres, are located approximately 50-100 kilometres off the Uruguayan coast, southeast of Montevideo, in water depths ranging from 50 to 2000 metres. BP will hold a 100 per cent interest in the blocks and the Uruguayan state oil company, ANCAP, will have a right to participate of up to 30 per cent in any discoveries.
BP will carry out 2D and 3D seismic acquisition on the blocks during the initial three-year exploration phase of the contracts. This work is expected to begin next year.
Mike Daly, BP Executive Vice President of Exploration said: "This is a material entry into an under-explored deepwater basin on the Atlantic margin. We look forward to working with ANCAP and the Uruguayan authorities to explore this large area and understand the potential of these blocks."