The firms are now partners on multiple blocks in the North Argentina Basin. Up to 55,000 BOE/D of output is expected from the ExxonMobil-operated Bajo del Choique-La Invernada block in the Argentine shale play, with a possible second phase producing up to 75,000 BOE/D. The state-owned firm is looking within its home country, around Southeast Asia, and to the Americas—including shale—in an effort to maintain its forecast average yearly production of 1.7 million BOE/D over the next 5 years. Thirteen companies placed bids on 18 blocks in the Austral, North Argentina, and Malvinas West basins as part of Argentina’s first open bid round for offshore acreage in more than 20 years. Vaca Muerta production is on the upswing.