U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) on Wednesday held a lease sale offering acreage in 4399 blocks across 23.8 million acres million in the Gulf of Mexico, offshore Texas.
The Lease Sale 248, as it was officially called, attracted 24 bids from only three oil and gas exploration companies which took part in the bidding round, BHP Billiton, BP, and ExxonMobil.
There were no competing bids for the same acreage. The sum of all bids submitted was a little over $18 million.
BHP Billiton, an Australian energy giant, offered the most bids. The company offerred to acquire acreage over 12 blocks in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, located in East Breaks and Alamino Canyon areas.
By the number of bids submitted, BP was the second. The British oil major filed bids for ten blocks, all situated in the Garden Banks area of the Gulf.
Also, U.S. supermajor ExxonMobil submitted two bids for two blocks situated in the East Breaks areas. Worth noting, of all the bids submitted, the highest one for a single block was filed by ExxonMobil – $1.25 million. However, when all the bids are summed up, BHP Billiton offered almost $10 million, BP $6.3, and ExxonMobil $1.75 milion.
In this sale, BOEM offered 23.8 million acres in federal waters offshore Texas for oil and gas exploration and development. The three companies submitted bids for blocks covering 138.240 acres.
Director Abigail Ross Hopper said: “Though this sale reflects today’s market conditions and industry’s current development strategy, the bidding confirms that there is continued interest in the deepwater areas of the Gulf”.
Today’s sale in New Orleans, Louisiana, was the first federal offshore oil and gas auction broadcast live on the internet.
Sale 248 included approximately 4,399 blocks, located from nine to 250 nautical miles offshore, in water depths ranging from 16 to more than 10,975 feet (5 to 3,340 meters). As a result of offering this area for lease, BOEM estimates a range of economically recoverable hydrocarbons to be discovered and produced of 116 to 200 million barrels of oil and 538 to 938 billion cubic feet of natural gas.
Following today’s sale, each bid will go through an 90-day evaluation process before a lease is awarded.
Offshore Energy Today Staff