Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. today announced that its oil & gas segment, Freeport-McMoRan Oil & Gas (FM O&G), was the apparent high bidder on 20 tracts in the Central Gulf of Mexico Oil and Gas Lease Sale 231 with a total investment of approximately $330 million net to FM O&G.
The bids are subject to approval by the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management and these potential investments were included in the company’s previously reported 2014 capital budget.
FM O&G winning bids were primarily focused on high-impact, drillable targets in the Mississippi Canyon and Atwater Valley areas to complement FM O&G’s existing infrastructure and production facilities and add several new exploration plays. The blocks, which cover approximately 106,000 gross acres, range in water depths up to 6,000 feet. The company expects to be notified and designated operator of these blocks by the third quarter of 2014.
“The Deepwater Gulf of Mexico continues to be a highly attractive growth area for us and our lease-sale effort was focused on leveraging our existing infrastructure to drive superior returns,” said James C. Flores, FCX Vice Chairman and FM O&G President and Chief Executive Officer. “The addition of these blocks is strategic and complementary to our existing acreage and provides opportunities to add substantial oil resources to our world class portfolio in the Gulf of Mexico.”
FCX is a premier U.S.-based natural resource company with an industry leading global portfolio of mineral assets, significant oil and gas resources and a growing production profile. FCX is the world’s largest publicly traded copper producer.