The explorer has so far encountered 400 ft of reservoir pay zone in an area where it has three other producing fields. 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. The major’s dominant showing in US Gulf of Mexico Lease Sale 252 propelled another rise in bids and dollars for the biannual regionwide auction. Funding for startups in the upstream industry does not always guarantee that oil and gas companies will want to test the new technology. A new venture and accelerator model hopes to change this through guaranteed pilots.