April 17, 2019 / 7:39 AM / a year ago

Equinor wins exploration rights in seven blocks offshore Argentina

OSLO, April 17 (Reuters) - Equinor has won the right to explore seven blocks offshore Argentina and to run production operations at five of them, the Norwegian oil and gas firm said on Wednesday.

Argentina has received bids from 13 companies worth a total of $995 million in its first offshore licensing round, the government said on Tuesday.

Equinor said it had submitted the winning bids for five blocks as operator. It also took part in winning bids for one block to be operated by Argentina’s YPF and another to be operated by France’s Total.

Equinor has 100 percent interest in the five operated blocks, 50 percent interest in the YPF-operated block and 25 percent interest in the Total-operated block, the company added.

“These awards fit with our exploration strategy, providing us with access at scale in basins with high impact potential,” Equinor’s exploration head Tim Dodson said.

Equinor entered Argentina in 2017 and has stakes in a few onshore exploration licences.

A total of 38 blocks were offered in the licensing round, the first open bid round for Argentinean offshore acreage in more than 20 years.

U.S. oil major Exxon Mobil Corp said on Tuesday its unit and an affiliate of Qatar Petroleum had won three exploration blocks offshore Argentina.

Equinor shares were up 1.6 percent in early trading. (Reporting by Nerijus Adomaitis; Editing by Mark Potter)

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