Oil exploration block
An oil exploration block is a large area of land, typically in 1000s of sq. kilometers, that is awarded to oil drilling and exploration companies by a country's government. It is either awarded by the government and paid for by taxes on the company, or it is auctioned by the government that owns the land.
Companies who bid for land do so using calculated probabilities of striking oil in the land. However, in most auctions, the company does not have definitive proof that oil exists in the land for which it bids.