Argentina grants offshore oil, gasoline exploration permits in Malvinas West basin

BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) – Argentina awarded permits for hydrocarbon exploration in 18 areas off its southern coast to corporations together with Exxon Mobil Corp, Complete SA, YPF SA and Royal Dutch Shell Plc, the federal government mentioned on Friday.

The profitable corporations supplied bids totaling $724 million, the federal government mentioned in official statements, and received the rights to probe for as much as 13 years in areas of the South Atlantic, some close to the Malvinas Islands underneath the management of the British authorities however whose sovereignty is claimed by Argentina.

The opposite corporations that may make up exploration consortia in Argentina’s Malvinas West basin embody BP, Qatar Petroleum, Tullow Oil, Pluspetrol, Wintershall, Equinor, Eni, Mitsui &Co Ltd and Tecpetrol SA.

Offshore exploration might enhance Argentina’s reserves, which fell within the final decade as a consequence of laws that discouraged international funding within the vitality sector. President Mauricio Macri has sought to extend vitality output. In 2018, 18 % of the nation’s gasoline manufacturing got here from offshore areas.

The federal government will challenge the permits between June and August, giving the businesses as much as 13 years to discover the deepest areas, and 11 years for the concessions closest to the coast, the economic system ministry mentioned in an announcement.

“Actions will embody drilling no less than two wells, and throughout the lifetime of those permits the businesses can apply for a 35-year manufacturing license for these areas,” it mentioned.

The largest bid was for the MLO-115 block of the West Malvinas basin, at $105.97 million from a consortium made up of Tullow, Pluspetrol and Wintershall, the ministry mentioned.

Reporting by Jorge Otaola and Walter Bianchi; Writing by Cassandra Garrison and Mitra Taj; Modifying by Marguerita Choy and Tom Hogue

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