Equinor ASA has taken a 50% stake in Argentina's largest offshore block, CAN 100, as part of its collaboration with the South American country's state-controlled oil firm YPF SA, the Norwegian company said Aug. 21.
In April, Equinor won operatorship of five blocks in Argentina's first offshore oil and gas licensing round, and also got stakes in another two operated by YPF and Total SA respectively.
Equinor said it has signed a preliminary agreement setting the terms and conditions for YPF's transfer of 50% of its share in the CAN 100 block, without disclosing details.
"Through this agreement, Equinor strengthens its position offshore Argentina, in line with our exploration strategy to access at scale in basins with high impact potential," Equinor's head of exploration Tim Dodson said.
The CAN 100 block comprises an area of 15,000 sq km and is the largest block in the North Argentinian Basin.
Equinor and YPF are also partners in another two offshore blocks in the basin, CAN 102 and CAN 114, as well as in the onshore Bajo del Toro exploration block in the Neuquen province.
The onshore block covers part of the Vaca Muerta shale play, which is estimated to hold one of the world's largest reserves of shale oil and gas.
U.S. petroleum inventories show clear signs of trending lower as consumption slowly recovers from the epidemic and lockdowns, while Saudi Arabia restricts production and directs volumes away from North America.
Hopes rise that fuel demand can weather the pandemic.
Front-month gas futures rose 7.3 cents, or 3.4%, to settle at $2.238 per million British thermal units, their highest close since Dec. 26.