MONTEVIDEO – Uruguay’s government must develop a long-term policy for managing oil and gas discoveries, President Tabare Vazquez said.
Vazquez plans to meet on Tuesday with four former presidents to discuss potential oil finds in the South American country.
In March, France’s Total, U.S.-based ExxonMobil and Norway’s Statoil will start drilling in Uruguay’s continental shelf, located some 400 kilometers (249 miles) off Montevideo.
The project will drill what will be the world’s deepest offshore well at a cost of $200 million.
“If gas and oil are found, handling the situation will be a task not just for the current administration but also for future governments and, therefore, a policy should be implemented that goes beyond one administration and one political party,” Vazquez told reporters during an appearance in the northern city of Artigas on Sunday.
“Consulting with those who have been presidents” during the current democratic process in Uruguay and “who have known from the inside what it is to handle very important responsibilities, was the best first step” toward an inclusive strategy, the president said.
The meeting at the Suarez y Reyes presidential residence in Montevideo will be attended by former Presidents Julio Maria Sanguinetti, who governed from 1985-1990 and 1995-2000; Luis Alberto Lacalle, who was in office from 1990-1995; Jorge Batlle, who served from 2000-2005; and Jose Mujica, who governed from 2010-2015.