The U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has now held and completed its oil and gas lease sale for the western Gulf of Mexico for tracts on the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf offshore Texas. The auction drew less than $22.7 million in high bids, or a total of $22,675,212.

The BOEM also showed that a total of only five offshore energy companies submitted 33 bids on 33 tracts. This covers a total of about 190,080 acres. BOEM Director Abigail Ross Hopper did address that the turnout for bids was lower than might have been seen in the past. She said:

While this sale reflects today’s market conditions and industry’s current development strategy, it underscores a steady, continued interest in developing deep water federal offshore oil and gas resources. … The continuing drop in oil prices and low natural gas prices obviously affect industry’s short-term investment decisions, but the Gulf’s long-term value to the nation remains high and the President’s energy strategy continues to offer millions of offshore acres for development while protecting the human, marine and coastal environments, and ensuring a fair return to the American people.

Lease Sale 246 builds on the first seven sales held under the Obama Administration’s Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program for 2012-2017 that offered more than 60 million acres for development. In total that has generated some $2.9 billion in bid revenues and awarded 1,038 leases.

The five-year program makes available all offshore areas with the highest resource potential and includes 75% of the nation’s undiscovered, technically recoverable offshore oil and gas resources.

The high bids were from the likes of Ecopetrol, BP, Anadarko, BHP Billiton and Peregrine.

Source: - 247 Wallstreet - http://247wallst.com/energy-economy/2015/08/19/low-bidding-in-gulf-of-mexico-offshore-drilling-rights-auction/