U.S. oil major Exxon Mobil Corp said its unit and an affiliate of a Gulf NOC won three exploration blocks during Argentina’s first offshore bid round.
The award adds approximately 2.6 million net acres to existing holdings in Argentina for ExxonMobil Argentina Offshore Investments B.V., which includes the onshore Vaca Muerta unconventional oil play and a business support centre in Buenos Aires, the company said.
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 per cent working interest. The 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.