(Energy Analytics Institute, Aaron Simonsky, 17.May.2019) — Argentina’s Energy Secretariat awarded 18 areas corresponding to the first International Offshore Public Competition, the country’s Finance Ministry announced May 17 in an official statement.
The crude oil and natural gas exploration areas offered cover three basins of the Argentine continental shelf. Companies that obtained permits will invest a total of $724 million, the secretariat said.
The offer is another step by the government of Argentina’s President Mauricio Macri to increase investments and generate new hydrocarbon resources for the South American country struggling with inflationary issues.
The areas were granted through Argentine Resolution 276/2019 and cover 225,000 square kilometers of maritime surface. Companies that participated in the bidding process included: YPF, Equinor, Tecpetrol, Qatar Petroleum, ExxonMobil, Total, Pluspetrol, Wintershall, British Petroleum, Shell, Tullow, Mitsui and ENI.
Exploration will take place in three basins:
Austral (covering 14,200 square kilometers in water depths of up to 100 meters),
West Malvinas (covering 86,400 square kilometers in water depths from 100 to 600 meters), and
North Argentina (covering 100,200 square kilometers in water depths from 200 to 1,300 meters and ultra deep waters from 1,200 to 4,000 meters).
Over the course of the next months (June-August) the different exploration permits corresponding to the winning offers will be progressively granted. In order to expand development of offshore exploration and increase the degree of technical and scientific knowledge, it is expected that new annual tenders will be held, the secretariat said.
The winning companies will have a maximum period of up to 13 years to carry out exploratory activities for the deepest blocks and 11 years for the areas closest to the coast. These activities will include drilling at least 2 wells. Over the course of the exploration phase companies will also be able to request exploitation concession for those areas for a period of 35 years.
Cuenca Malvinas Oeste (MLO) / Malvinas West Basin
— MLO_113: ExxonMobil and Qatar Petroleum, $30.1 million
— MLO_114: Tullow, Pluspetrol, and Wintershall, $105.97 million
— MLO_117: ExxonMobil and Qatar Petroleum, $34.475 million
— MLO_118: ExxonMobil and Qatar Petroleum, $29.95 million
— MLO_119: Tullow, Pluspetrol, and Wintershall, $82.445 million
— MLO_121: Equinor, $66.195 million
— MLO_122: Tullow, $43.660 million
— MLO_123: Total Austral, Equinor, and YPF, $44.465 million
— MLO_124: Eni, Mitsui & Company, and Tecpetrol, $67.605 million
Cuenca Argentina Norte (CAN) / North Argentina Basin
— CAN_102: YPF and Equinor, $23.825 million
— CAN_107: Shell Argentina and Qatar Petroleum, $8.490 million
— CAN_108: Equinor, $16.170 million
— CAN_109: Shell and Qatar Petroleum, $59.125 million
— CAN_111: Total Austral and British Petroleum, $17.380 million
— CAN_113: Total Austral and British Petroleum, $8.680 million
— CAN_114: Equinor Argentina and YPF, $47.420 million
Cuenca Austral (AUS) / Austral Basin
— AUS_105: Equinor Argentina, $15.200 million
— AUS_106: Equinor Argentina, $22.870 million
It should be noted that during the opening of bids held on 16 April 2019 corresponding to the Offshore International Public Competition No. 1, 13 companies had submitted 23 bids for 18 areas (out of 38 offered) for a total of $995 million, the secretariat said.
© Energy Analytics Institute (EAI)