Equinor submitted the winning bids for five blocks as operator. Equinor also participated in winning bids for one block to be operated by YPF and one block to be operated by Total.
The bid round was arranged in Buenos Aires on 16 April. A total of 38 blocks were on offer in the licensing round, the first open bid round for Argentinean offshore acreage in more than 20 years.NCS Exploration 2019, May 21-22, Fornebu: Recent Advances in ExplorationTechnology
“These awards fit with our exploration strategy, providing us with access at scale in basins with high impact potential,” says Tim Dodson, Equinor’s executive vice president for exploration.
Huge onshore potential
Equinor entered Argentina in 2017 and holds an onshore exploration agreement in the Bajo del Toro license (as 50% partner with YPF) as well as an exploration licence in the Bajo del Toro Este (as 90% operator ).
Argentina’s unconventional oil and gas resources are among the world’s largest. The Vaca Muerta is a geological formation of 30,000 km² located mainly in the province of Neuquén and containing oil and gas found at a depth of more than 2,500 meters.
The Vaca Muerta Shale has long been known as a major petroleum source rock for conventional accumulations in the Neuquén Basin, which has had oil production since the 1920s.
Vaca Muerta is expected to host major deposits of tight oil (shale oil) and shale gas. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the formation contains 16.2 Bbbl of tight oil (shale oil) and 308 Tcf of shale gas.
Argentina’s Neuquén province is the country’s most prolific hydrocarbon basin. The Nequen province is located at the northern end of Patagonia.