Oil & Gas

Argentina’s first offshore bid round

ExxonMobil wins three blocks

ExxonMobil has increased holdings in Argentina after its subsidiary ExxonMobil Argentina Offshore Investments B.V. and an affiliate of Qatar Petroleum won three exploration blocks during Argentina’s first offshore bid round. The bid round was arranged in Buenos Aires on 16 April.

The award adds approximately 2.6 million net acres to its existing holdings in Argentina, which includes the onshore Vaca Muerta unconventional oil play and a business support center in Buenos Aires.

The blocks are located in the Malvinas basin, approximately 200 miles (320 kilometers) offshore Tierra del Fuego and include MLO-113, MLO-117 and MLO-118.

“We look forward to working with our co-venturer to explore this new opportunity in Argentina,” said Mike Cousins, senior vice president of ExxonMobil Exploration and New Ventures. “This potential play-opening opportunity will allow ExxonMobil to use its unique exploration capabilities and expertise as it evaluates this new acreage.”

ExxonMobil will operate the blocks with 70 percent working interest. A Qatar Petroleum affiliate will hold the remaining 30 percent. The initial work program will include 3-D seismic data acquisition. A resolution will be issued by Argentina’s Secretariat of Energy confirming the public tender results.

ExxonMobil through its subsidiaries in Argentina currently holds interest in approximately 315,000 net acres spanning seven blocks in the onshore Neuquén Basin of the Vaca Muerta formation. The business support center in Buenos Aires employs approximately 1,700 Argentine citizens in various corporate functions such as human resources, information technology and finance.

 

Equinor adds seven offshore exploration blocks to its portfolio

Equinor submitted the winning bids for five blocks as operator. Equinor also participated in winning bids for one block to be operated by YPF and one block to be operated by Total.

“We are very pleased to succeed in this competitive licensing round and to have added significant prospective acreage to our exploration portfolio. These awards fit with our exploration strategy, providing us with access at scale in basins with high impact potential,” says Tim Dodson, Equinor’s executive vice president for exploration.

“We are looking forward to mature these new opportunities and work together with our partners YPF, Argentina’s leading energy company, and Total, who has long experience from offshore activities in these waters,” says Dodson.

A total of 38 blocks were on offer in the licensing round, the first open bid round for Argentinean offshore acreage in more than 20 years. Equinor participated in the following winning bids:

 

BLOCK NAMESIZEPARTNERSHIP
MLO 1214291 km2Equinor (operator, 100%)
MLO 1233787 km2Total (operator, 37.5%), YPF (37,5%) and Equinor (25%)
CAN 1028965 km2YPF (operator, 50%), Equinor (50%)
CAN 1082882km2Equinor (operator, 100%)
CAN 1147079 km2Equinor (operator, 50%), YPF (50%)
AUS 1052157 km2Equinor (operator, 100%)
AUS 1062283 km2Equinor (operator, 100%)

 

Equinor entered Argentina in 2017 and holds a 50% interest in the Bajo del Toro licence (YPF operator, 50%) and is operator with 90 % equity in the Bajo del Toro Este licence (partner Gas y Petróleo del Neuquén, 10%). Equinor also holds a 50 % interest in the Guanizul 2A (G2A) solar asset in Argentina.

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