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The decision by environmental regulator Anla allows the joint venture to explore conventional and unconventional plays, Patriot's parent company Sintana said in a statement.
"Now that we have Anla approval, the partners have initiated execution of a previously developed and internally approved, step-by-step, pre-drill plan," Sintana's CEO Doug Manner said.
"Progress updates will be issued from time to time as milestones are achieved and results become available."
ExxonMobil, through its local subsidiary ExxonMobil Exploration Colombia, owns a 70% operating stake in the block, with Patriot holding the balance.