The latest region-wide Gulf of Mexico lease sale, held Mar. 20 in New Orleans by the US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, generated $244.3 million in apparent high bids for 227 tracts. There were a total of 14,699 tracts offered in the gulf’s federal waters.

A total of 30 companies submitted 257 bids totaling close to $283.8 million in Lease Sale 252, which covered more than 78 million acres in areas 3-231 miles offshore in the gulf's western, central, and eastern planning areas in 9-11,115 ft of water.

Shell Offshore Inc., Anadarko US Offshore LLC, and BP Exploration & Production Inc. filled the top three company spots, based on the total number of high bids submitted. Shell submitted 87 apparent high bids totaling $84,827,644; Anadarko, 27 totaling $24,061,854, and BP, 23 totaling $15,451,679.

The deepest block receiving a bid was Lloyd Ridge 456 in 3,054 m of water. With 4 bids each, Mississippi Canyon 344 and Mississippi Canyon 801 received the greatest number of bids. The highest bid on a block, made by Equinor Gulf of Mexico LLC, was close to $24.5 million for Mississippi Canyon 801 in 800-1,600 m of water.

Deepwater was the main draw at the sale, with a rounded $115.1 million in apparent high bids received for 95 blocks offered in greater than 1,600 m of water. More than $113.8 million in apparent high bids was received for 84 blocks in 800-1,600 m of water.

Hess Corp., with a bid of about $10.1 million, was the company submitting the second single-highest bid in its try for Mississippi Canyon 684 in more than 1,600 m of water.

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