Scottish oil company Cairn Energy has secured interests in two licences in the Gulf of Mexico.
Cairn, based in Edinburgh, said it had bought into a highly prolific, proven hydrocarbon province that was significantly under-explored.
It bought shares in assets in the Sureste basin in shallow water during the Mexican offshore licensing round.
Cairn has acquired the operatorship and 65% of block 9, and is partnered with Citla on 35%.
And Cairn has taken on 30% of block 7, Italian firm Eni has 45% and Citla has 25%.
The contracts are scheduled to be signed later this year with the Government of Mexico.
Cairn expects exploration drilling to commence in 2019-20 on both blocks.
Cairn chief executive Simon Thomson said: “We are delighted with these awards which we believe provide an exciting opportunity to build a strategic portfolio over time in this highly prolific yet under-explored region.
“As we build on the success of discoveries in Senegal it is important to access new acreage to provide exploration drilling opportunities in the future.
“Cairn and its partners have identified and secured our favoured blocks with multiple stand-alone prospects and numerous follow-on tie-back opportunities based on 3D seismic data.
“We are partnered with ENI, an experienced explorer and operator in Mexico, as well as Citla Energy, a Mexican focused, exploration company and look forward to working with our new partners and the Government of Mexico to deliver the work programme in the coming years.”