ConocoPhillips to Study Oil, Gas Potential in Chile

ConocoPhillips, the third-largest U.S. energy company, agreed to study non-conventional oil and natural gas formations in southern Chile with state-owned energy company Empresa Nacional del Petroleo.

Houston-based ConocoPhillips will carry out geophysical and geological studies of the Patagonian region where Enap produces the South American country’s only oil and gas, according to an e-mailed statement today from Enap.

The Chilean company seeks to boost oil and gas output in Magallanes where it first produced oil and gas in 1945. Chile, the world’s largest copper producer, imports more than 90 percent of its fossil fuel needs.

With a focus on new drilling technology to tap tight-gas deposits, Enap spent more than $100 million exploring for oil and gas in 2013, the most in 15 years, according to the company’s website. Santiago-based Geopark Ltd. is also stepping up exploration efforts in the region.

Enap’s Chief Executive Officer Marcelo Tokman signed the agreement with David Jones, ConocoPhillip’s vice president of exploration for South America.

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