In October 2012 Petrel acquired an interest in a large petroleum project in Uruguay. The project comprises two concessions, Piedra Sola and Salto, covering 14,000 sq km (3.5 million acres) which are held under separate production sharing contracts.
Petrel's initial entry was acquired with a US$2.5 million investment for 25% of Schuepbach Energy International LLC (SEI), a private US company, holding the Piedra Sola and Salto concessions and an 85% interest in two prospective gas licences in southern Spain. Petrel exercised an option to increase its SEI shareholding to 51% for US$5.5 million in December 2013.
In December 2017 Petrel’s partner in SEI failed to fund its share of a cash call. Petrel agreed to not only fund its US$2.04 million 51.0% share but also exercise a US$1 million short term option to increase its SEI interest from 51% to 62.7%.
The initial attractions of the Uruguay venture were: