ExxonMobil Argentina Offshore Investments and an affiliate of Qatar Petroleum have secured three exploration blocks in Argentina’s first offshore bid round.
The three Argentine exploration blocks MLO-113, MLO-117 and MLO-118 are located in the Malvinas basin, around 320km offshore Tierra del Fuego. ExxonMobil will operate the blocks with a 70% stake, while the Qatar Petroleum affiliate will hold the remaining stake.
Initially, the two companies will carry out a 3D seismic data acquisition of the three blocks.
ExxonMobil Exploration and New Ventures senior vice-president Mike Cousins said: “We look forward to working with our co-venturer to explore this new opportunity in Argentina.
“This potential play-opening opportunity will allow ExxonMobil to use its unique exploration capabilities and expertise as it evaluates this new acreage.”
This latest win increases ExxonMobil’s holdings in Argentina by nearly 2.6 million net acres.
Argentina received bids from 13 companies with a total value of $995m in the offshore licensing round. It was the first open bid round for Argentinean offshore acreage in more than two decades.
The government offered a total of 38 blocks, of which 18 were granted. Apart from ExxonMobil and Qatar Petroleum, the winners included Equinor, Shell, ExxonMobil, Total and BP.
Equinor topped the results by securing seven offshore exploration blocks to its portfolio. It includes winning bids for five blocks as operator.