Uruguay's state-run oil concern ANCAP said Tuesday it signed a "historic" 30-year contract with a US firm for exploring and the eventual production of oil and gas.
ANCAP president Raul Sendic said it was the first time such an agreement had been reached with a foreign company for work on Uruguayan soil.
If Dallas, Texas-based Shuepbach Energy LLC makes an important find, ANCAP could form a joint venture with up to a 50 percent stake to exploit the find, Sendic said.
Exploration will take place in two regions, one in a vast region in central-northern Uruguay and the other in Salta, in northern Uruguay.
Officials from the US company said the agreement was reached after initial seismic tests in the regions came back with positive results.
The contract says Shuepbach Energy agrees to invest up to $8 million in the first years in its search for gas and oil.