An offshore oil and gas lease sale for an area of the US Gulf of Mexico on Wednesday yielded almost $275m in high bids, the US Department of the Interior said.
Total value of bids received for the 163 tracts in 913,542 acres of the Central Planning Area was just over $315m. The sale included all unleased and non-protected areas in the planning area.
Officially called Lease Sale 247, this marked the twelfth and final one in the Gulf under the existing five-year Outer Continental Shelf and Leasing Program, which covers 2012-2017. The previous 11 sales had yielded more than $3bn in bid revenues.
There were 28 companies that submitted a total of 189 bids, among them big industry players Shell, ExxonMobil, Chevron and Total.
Held by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) – an agency of the Department of the Interior – the auction was livestreamed to the public from New Orleans.
Next the bids must go through a 90-day evaluation period to ensure the public is getting fair value.