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Total/Exxon/Mobil drilling record-deep well offshore Uruguay

Staff writer ▼ | April 2, 2016
A consortium led by France's Total and U.S.-based super major ExxonMobil Corp started this week drilling for oil off Uruguay, Industry, Energy and Mining Minister Carolina Cosse announced.
Offshore Uruguay
Oil exploration   Uruguay is totally reliant on imports for its oil
Uruguay is totally reliant on imports for its oil and has for decades tried to discover possible hydrocarbons resources both in the continent and offshore.

“Exploratory drilling activities have started on the sea floor. A well will be drilled at 3,400 meters water depth and then more than 2,000 meters into the seabed,” Cosse said in an interview with the presidential communications office.

Cosse added that the depth “exceeds the current record” for such exploration. In approximately 100 days “we will know of any prospects of hydrocarbons”.

The well was spud at the “Raya/1” prospect in Block 14, and “this milestone culminates four years of work in Round Uruguay II, and the first to be drilled offshore Uruguay since 1976.

France's Total was granted the most desirable offshore sector in 2012 in an auction held by the Uruguayan government. In November 2015, the French company sold a 35% stake in the project to ExxonMobil.

Norway's Statoil bought a 15% stake in the project in January and although Uruguayan state-owned oil company ANCAP has approved the deal, registration procedures have not been completed and the Norwegian firm does not officially appear in the ownership group as drilling begins, officials revealed.

The consortium contracted the Maersk/Venturer drilling ship for the operations.