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Paraguay: Positioned for the Long Game, 2 Picks

Looking six months to a year down the road, there are two companies we’re watching closely because we think they’re about to hit pay oil in Paraguay. They’ve honed in on this unexplored, onshore gem that looks set to join the Latin American big boys club and become and a net exporter.

The first is UK-based President Energy LLC (PPC), which has a majority stake in some major acreage (16,000 sq km) in the Chaco region, and is estimating that its holdings could have up to 159 million barrels of gross risked recoverable resources. This alone could be enough to turn Paraguay into a net fuel exporter, and President is banking on the proximity of its acreage to similar holdings it has in Argentina. For now, President is focused on Paraguay’s conventional potential, but it won’t ignore the unconventional if it happens upon some shale in the process.

We expect the most from President next year: That’s when the company predicts it will produce its first oil in Paraguay. In 2014, President Energy plans to drill six wells and invest $92 million on seismic studies and drilling. The company began seismic tests in December 2012—the first seismic testing in Paraguay since 1987.

Specifically, President Energy’s acreage includes:

•    Pirity Block, which it operates with a 59% stake in partnership with PetroVictory
•    Demattei Block, which it operates with a 60% stake in…

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