The US Department of Interior (DOI) has announced that Gulf of Mexico Lease Sale 252 has received more than $244m in high bids for 227 tracts covering 5,103km² in federal waters.
The figure is significantly higher compared to Lease Sale 251, the immediate last lease sale that generated $178m in high bids.
DOI assistant secretary for land and minerals management Joe Balash said: “Today’s lease sale shows strong bidding by established companies, which indicates that the Gulf of Mexico will continue to be a leading energy source for our nation long into the future.
“The results from today will help secure well-paying offshore jobs, while generating much-needed revenue to fund everything from conservation to infrastructure.”
A total of 30 companies participated in Lease Sale 252 submitting a combined $283.78m for all bids. Oil and gas majors such as Shell, Equinor, BP, Anadarko, Total, Chevron and Hess were among the winning bidders.
Shell placed high bids for 87 tracts, followed by Anadarko and BP with 27 and 23 tracts respectively. Equinor had the highest bid of around $24.5m for a single tract.
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Lease Sale 252 was the fourth offshore sale carried out under the 2017-2022 National Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Programme. The sale included 14,699 unleased blocks in the Gulf of Mexico’s Western, Central and Eastern Planning Areas. The blocks are situated from three miles to 231 miles offshore in water depths ranging from 3-3,400m.
The programme includes ten region-wide lease sales for the Gulf region, which is estimated to have high potentiality with suitable oil and gas infrastructure already established.