Argentina's Malvina West Basin offshore bidding round success
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  • Felix Tsourakis

Argentina's Malvina West Basin offshore bidding round success

Argentina is one of the fastest-growing oil and gas producers in the world, with an abundance of natural resources. It possesses Vaca Muerta, one of the largest shale plays in the world, growing rapidly with more than $5 billion invested annually. Argentina is now investing significantly on its first offshore exploration campaigns, following its highly successful onshore exploration.


Malvinas West Basin: New permits awarded


The government awarded offshore permits for 18 areas at the Malvinas West Basin, located in the South Atlantic, following bids totaling $724 million. The companies awarded the offshore licenses include Total SA, YPF SA, Shell, ExxonMobil, BP, Qatar Petroleum, Equinor, Mitsui, Wintershall, Pluspetrol, Tullow Oil and many more.


Offshore bid round winners:

  • Block MLO-113 – ExxonMobil, Qatar Petroleum

  • Block MLO-114 – Pluspetrol, Wintershall, Tullow Oil

  • Block MLO-117 – ExxonMobil, Qatar Petroleum

  • Block MLO-118 – ExxonMobil, Qatar Petroleum

  • Block MLO-119 – Pluspetrol, Wintershall, Tullow Oil

  • Block MLO-121 – Equinor

  • Block MLO-122 – Tullow Oil

  • Block MLO-123 – Total, Equinor, YPF

  • Block MLO-124 – Eni, Mitsui, Tecpetrol

  • Block CAN-102 – Equinor

  • Block CAN-107 – Shell, Qatar Petroleum

  • Block CAN-108 – Equinor

  • Block CAN-109 – Shell, Qatar Petroleum

  • Block CAN-111 – Total, BP

  • Block CAN-113 – Total, BP

  • Block CAN-114 – Equinor, YPF

  • Block AUS-105 – Equinor

  • Block AUS-106 – Equinor

How a successful offshore seismic review attracted more than $724 million in bidding


Spectrum Geo’s analysis of the data revealed four prospective plays with significant untapped potential at the West Malvinas Basin

In 2018, Spectrum Geo was tasked with acquiring and processing new state of the art 2D seismic data. The data and analysis provided improved the understanding of the deeper-lying sedimentary potential, and revealed numerous prospective exploration plays.

Following the analysis, Argentina opened its official license round launch. The West Malvinas basin blocks gathered high attention and attracted $724 million in bidding.

The tremendous interest gathered by more than 12 influential IOCs proves Argentina’s tremendous potential and favourable fiscal and legal regime.


West Malvinas Prospective Plays


Spectrum Geo’s analysis of the data revealed significant untapped potential and concluded that there are four prospective plays at the West Malvinas Basin:


  • The Springhill sandston play, south-east of the Dungeness Arch

  • An Upper Jurrassic Syn-rift play located central-east of the basin, with multiple fluid escape features indicating the presence of accessible hydrocarbons

  • Generalised play fairways

  • A South Malvinas Foldbelt and Foredeep play on the southern border of the basin, similar to the Darwin discovery


Offshore round success: IOC and Service Provider synergy


The success of the first large-scale West Malvinas basin offshore round has been made possible thanks to Argentina’s effective use of service providers and choice of offshore exploration and production companies. These production companies were attracted to Argentina’s significant hydrocarbon resources and partnership terms.


The opportunities to enter Argentina are more numerous than ever. Meet Argentina’s key decision-makers and IOCs at the first official Argentina Oil & Gas Summit on 10 - 11 July 2019 in Buenos Aires, Argentina.


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