Winners Announced in Offshore Argentina Round

The provisional results of one of they years most highly-anticipated bid round was announced at the end of April when Argentina declared the winners of their first offshore licensing round in over 20 years. The round attracted bids from 13 companies and of the 38 blocks that were offered, 18 were licensed by various companies including Equinor, Wintershall, and ExxonMobil with winning bids totaling over $718 mm. Included in the public tender were deep water, ultra-deepwater, and shallow water exploration blocks in the Austral, Malvinas, and Argentina Basins.

Spectrum’s Multi-Client library includes over 50,000 km of new seismic data over the Austral Malvinas and Argentina Basins. This modern, premium, long-offset seismic has been designed and acquired with the bid round in mind, providing explorers with the idea tool to unlock these exciting new areas. Surveys were acquired with 12,000 m offsets and continuous recording to enable extended recording lengths and high fold data to support full interpretation.

Additionally, Spectrum has recently launched a new 20,000 km 2D survey in the Colorado and Salado basin offshore Argentina. This crucial new data will assist in future license block selection, and will support full interpretation from the Moho to water bottom. It will be processed with broadband PSTM and PSDM products, with first deliveries in Q2 2019.

Should they take up their acreage, Equinor will add seven exploration blocks to its portfolio. They will operate blocks MLO 121, CAN 108, CAN 102, AUS 105, and AUS 106 as well as participate in Block MLO123 in a partnership with Total as operator (37.5%) and YPF (37.5%). Additionally, Equinor will serve as operator with 50-50 split interest with YRP in block CAN114.

ExxonMobil’s local entity was awarded three exploration blocks in the Malvinas Basin. They will operate Blocks MLO-113, MLO-117, and MLO-118 with 70% working interest. The remaining 30% interest will be held by Qatar Petroleum. The new blocks will add to the over 2.6 million net acres of existing holdings for ExxonMobil in Argentina.

Wintershall will also participate in offshore exploration projects in Argentina after being awarded won the bidding process for two blocks in the Malvinas Basin off the coast of Tierra del Fuego. Wintershall will hold 27% interest in Blocks MLO-114 and MLO-119, partnered with Pluspetrol with Tullow serving as operator. According to Wintershall, the blocks will be covered with a 3% seismic survey in the initial exploration period.

In addition to the aforementioned companies, Total and BP won Blocks CAN- 111 and CAN- 113, Shell and Qatar Petroleum walked away with Blocks Can-109 and CAN-107. Tullow was also awarded Block MLO-122 and ENI, Mitsuim abd Tecoetrol won Block MLO-124.

Argentina’s Secretariat of Energy will confirm the public tender results in a subsequent resolution. These results are subject to regulatory Approvals by the Argentinian authorities and customary confirmation.

Winning Bids:
1. Block MLO-113 – ExxonMobil, Qatar Petroleum
2. Block MLO-114 – Pluspetrol, Wintershall, Tullow Oil
3. Block MLO-117 – ExxonMobil, Qatar Petroleum
4. Block MLO-118 – ExxonMobil, Qatar Petroleum
5. Block MLO-119 – Pluspetrol, Wintershall, Tullow Oil
6. Block MLO-121 – Equinor
7. Block MLO-122 – Tullow Oil
8. Block MLO-123 – Total, Equinor, YPF
9. Block MLO-124 – Eni, Mitsui, Tecpetrol
10. Block CAN-102 – Equinor
11. Block CAN-107 – Shell, Qatar Petroleum
12. Block CAN-108 – Equinor
13. Block CAN-109 – Shell, Qatar Petroleum
14. Block CAN-111 – Total, BP
15. Block CAN-113 – Total, BP
16. Block CAN-114 – Equinor, YPF
17. Block AUS-105 – Equinor
18. Block AUS-106 – Equinor