March 2016, Vol. 243, No. 3

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Is This The Next Offshore Sweet Spot For Big Oil?

France’s Total SA is searching for an “elephant” oil field off the coast of Uruguay. Uruguay does not have much of an offshore oil industry. But the Pelotas Basin, where Total is focusing, is starting to garner more interest. It borders Brazil and there is speculation that both countries have large oil fields sitting off of their coasts. A group of international oil companies including BP, Tullow Oil, Total, and BG Group have collectively invested over $1 billion in exploration in Uruguay since 2012. The original interest in Uruguay came when oil prices were near or above $100 per barrel. That brought international companies to a country without an oil and gas track record. The collapse in

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