Norwegian energy company Equinor has won bids for seven exploration blocks offshore Argentina in the country’s first offshore licensing round.

Equinor secured winning bids for the MLO 121, CAN 108, AUS 105 and AUS 106 blocks as the 100% operator, as well as 50% operating interest in the CAN 114 block with Argentinian partner YPF.

The company also won bids for partnership in the YPF-operated CAN 102 block and the Total-operated MLO 123 block, with 50% and 25% operating interests in these blocks respectively.

A total of 38 blocks were on offer in the offshore licensing round, totalling approximately 240,000 square kilometres in three areas. The bid round was arranged in Buenos Aires on 16 April and is the first open bid round for Argentinian offshore acreage since 1991.

The Argentinian government first published the terms for this licensing round in August 2018 and launched the auction in October 2018.

Equinor executive vice president for exploration Tim Dodson said: “We are very pleased to succeed in this competitive licensing round and to have added significant prospective acreage to our exploration portfolio.

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“These awards fit with our exploration strategy, providing us with access at scale in basins with high impact potential.

“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.”