The deadline to purchase rules for the E&P contracts is August 18 and 40 sets of rules have been sold to date, said the official. The ministry launched the bidding process in April.
Potential bidders include Brazil's federal energy company Petrobras (NYSE: PBR), Argentine oil companies Tecpetrol and Pluspetrol, and Anglo-Argentine oil firm PanAmerican Energy.
Offers will be due about 30 days after the purchase deadline, the official said.
The blocks are in Salta's northwest Chaco-Saltena region and cover 29,000 sq km. The blocks are classified as medium and high risk.
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