Gulf Of Mexico Oil Lease Sale: $121M In High Bids

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Oil and gas companies offered $121.1 million in high bids on 90 Gulf of Mexico tracts at a federal lease sale.
         Wednesday's sale was the first since 1983 to offer every available tract in the Gulf.
         Companies bid on far fewer tracts than in March, when only those off Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama were offered. That's generally seen as the best part of the Gulf for drilling.
         In March, 28 oil companies offered $274.8 million in high bids on 163 tracts. The government rejected 10 bids as too low, accepting $264 million in bids.
         The U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management says 27 companies submitted 99 bids Wednesday. Nine tracts got two bids each.
Forty-two of the tracts are at least 1,600 meters (5,249 feet) under water.

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