Rio Negro E&P Bidding Rules Attract 11 Buyers

Eleven companies have purchased bidding rules to date for the E&P of seven oil blocks in the Neuquen basin of Argentina's Rio Negro province, the provincial government said in a statement.

The companies that have purchased bidding rules are Spanish oil major Repsol YPF (NYSE: REP), Brazil's federal energy company Petrobras (NYSE: PBR), Canadian oil company Petrolifera Petroleum (TSX: PDP), Anglo-Argentine firm Pan American Energy (NYSE: PAE), the Argentine subsidiary of US firm Vintage (NYSE: VPI) and local firms Pluspetrol, Interenergy, Tecpetrol, Petrolera Entre Lomas, Compania General de Combustibles (CGC) and Oil M&S.

The blocks are Agua Amarga, Aguada de Córdoba, El Cuy, Lago Pellegrini, Meseta Baya, Vaca Mahuida and Villa Regina.

The province will continue selling bidding rules through March 20 and open technical offers the following day.

The province likely will open economic bids April 26 and award the blocks from May-June, provincial hydrocarbons department director Tamara Perez Balda told BNamericas.

The blocks closer to Lago Pellegrini are more likely to produce gas, Balda said.

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