The State company, ANCAP (National Administration of Fuels, Alcohol and Portland Cement), has the monopoly on production, export and import of oil and oil by-products. At the same time, it is responsible, itself or through third parties, for hydrocarbon exploration and exploitation activities in the country.
ANCAP has participated in many hydrocarbon prospecting and exploration undertakings, dating back to the late 1940s. Although, so far no hydrocarbon reserves have been found (onshore or offshore) significant advancements have been made in understanding the subsoil and its potential.
Within ANCAP, the Exploration and Production department (E&P) is responsible for the technical support in the area, the implementation of bidding rounds and monitoring service contracts. This department is responsible, among other functions, of: technical audits, proposing exploratory areas, administration and supervision of royalties, obtaining geological information, data and information reference center, technical advice in Geosciences and Engineering in E&P to other areas of ANCAP and public institutions and promotion activities.