Hupecol free to bid for onshore operating licenses

Monday, April 30, 2012

Colombia's Hupecol says it has been encouraged to bid for oil and gas operating concessions by Brazil's hydrocarbons regulator ANP.

The company told BNamericas it had met with ANP officials in Rio de Janeiro last week to discuss its participation in Brazil's eagerly awaited round 11 tender.

"We were very pleased by the outcome of the meeting," Hupecol's Steven Sarmiento said.

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"We went to them with several questions regarding the new contracts. They told us there would be nothing to stop us operating onshore exploration assets, which is something we're excited about."

Sarmiento said the regulator had not yet committed to a date for the bid round, originally scheduled for September last year.

But he was optimistic there would be an announcement "very soon."

The ANP talks follow an event-filled first quarter for Hupecol, which sold a US$75mn stake in its Colombian operations to London-listed GeoPark (AIM: GPK) in March.

The deal has led to a new direction for the company, which is eyeing onshore assets in Peru's Amazon basin in addition to its foray into Brazil.

Hupecol currently has interests in nine Colombian blocks: Los Picachos, Macaya, Serranía, La Cuerva, Tambaquí, Llanos 58, Llanos 62, Gabán and Surimena.

Last week the firm told BNamericas it planned to produce 10,000boe/d from four onshore Colombian blocks by next year.