New Zealand-based oil exploration and production company Greymouth Petroleum has been awarded rights to explore and produce petroleum in four permits covering an area of 9,000 square kilometers in and adjacent to the Straits of Magellan in Chile.

Greymouth will operate an oil and gas investment program in joint venture with the Chilean state-owned oil and gas company Empresa Nacional del Petroleo.

With the award of these permit areas, Greymouth believes that it has established a core petroleum acreage position in the heart of the Magallanes Basin, where there have been a number of oil and gas discoveries.

The company is moving to establish a Chilean operating company to be based in Punta Arenas. The Magallanes Basin has produced over 500 million barrels of oil and more than 10 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.