US independent Schuepbach Energy and Australia’s Petrel Energy have begun a 580-square kilometre 2D seismic survey over their pair of shale oil-prospective blocks onshore Uruguay's Norte basin.
Panamerican Geophysical is conducting the shoot for the exploration duo over the Piedra Sola and Salto exploration licences, where the companies revealed earlier this year that two core holes had shown the presence of oil-bearing source rock as well as an oil-prone Mangrullo shale.
Petrel Energy said data acquisition had gotten underway after three weeks of site preparation by survey crews, and would take ten weeks to complete.
The survey aims to give a better sense of the areal extent of source and reservoir rock development and potentially identify new targets and leads, the Dallas- and Melbourne-based explorers said.
While most of the shoot involves public roads, the companies also had to gain permission from more than 200 groups for access to private land.
Petrel Energy and its partner and 51% owned affiliate Schuepbach Energy hold two of only three onshore blocks licensed to international companies in Uruguay, with France's Total holding the third.
A licensing round due later this year from Uruguay's national oil company ANCAP is expected to put a further six blocks on offer.