The current combination of external forces (industry and macro environment) has prompted an era of consolidation. The new super-majors must now satisfy even larger appetites for materiality. These point them towards focus regions with high prospectivity, which are often countered by severe technological, marketability, or geopolitical barriers. In their wake, they are leaving large interstices and regional niches to independents, including the mature, emerging, and frontier Sub Andean basins. This opens an unprecedented window of opportunity for independents. To succeed in this region they need to differentiate by adopting new strategic positions and developing a new set of technical and commercial competencies, including for example, the mitigation and management of surface risks and better knowledge about their hosts. After a successful 1990's decade our continent has now fallen victim to a generalized perception of geopolitical and economic disarray, disproving itself as a reliable supply source. Besides stabilizing politically and economically, the governments in the region must struggle to first reestablish investor credibility, and then take a daring stand to reengineer their sector policies to attract the much needed investments. Since independents should likely be their target audience, governments should tailor their legal, fiscal and contractual frameworks to the independents' financial constraints and screening criteria, facilitate access to market for stranded resources, and focus on the mitigation of their surface risks. To successfully compete among themselves and against the rest of the world's petroleum provinces, heroic measures are perhaps in order, including the slaying of "sacred cows" and other myths.


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