- BHP said Thursday the Canada Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board confirmed that the company's bids to acquire two exploration licences for blocks 8 and 12 in the offshore Orphan Basin in Eastern Canada had been successful.

The successful bids would pave the way for the company to explore for 'world class conventional oil assets as an early mover in this prospective region,' BHP said.

BHP tabled a total bid amount of US$625m to cover the drilling and seismic work required by the exploration work programs under the licence agreements over the six year term.

BHP's minimum commitment under the licence agreements was for US$157 million.

BHP's initial budget on the exploration work programs for blocks 8 and 12 was planned US$140m up to 2021. A decision concerning further capital expenditure to drill the first appraisal well was expected to be made in FY2022, BHP said.

'This frontier opportunity has large oil resource potential which we identified through our Global Petroleum Endowment Study in 2016 and is in a low risk country, with competitive fiscal terms" Steve Pastor, BHP President Operations Petroleum said. 'This opportunity delivers on our exploration focus in conventional petroleum and will leverage our global deep-water development and operational expertise.'

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