ExxonMobil, BP and Equinor together bid more than US$175 million to secure prime acreage in the latest licensing exercise offshore eastern Canada.

The bidding process, called NL22-CFB01 and covering blocks in the Flemish Pass and Orphan basins off Newfoundland & Labrador, underscored the continued attractiveness of this oil-rich play to Norway’s Equinor and UK-based BP, partners in the huge Bay du Nord development there.

ExxonMobil is also an active explorer in the Flemish Pass, but in this round opted to bid big money for a tract in the southern part of the Orphan basin.