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Gulf of Mexico Lease Sale

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- A nearly 39 million-acre oil and gas lease sale in the central Gulf of Mexico has drawn $1.2 billion in high bids by offshore energy producers.

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management says 52 companies Wednesday submitted 407 bids on 320 tracts, three to 230 miles off the coasts of Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi. The tracts, covering more than 1.7 million acres, are in water depths of nine to more than 11,115 feet.

BOEM estimates the sale could lead to the production of up to 890 million barrels of oil and 3.9 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.

U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar opened the sale before visiting Louisiana's Big Branch Marsh National Wildlife Refuge to see the progress of a marsh restoration project.

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NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar will be on hand when federal regulators put more than 38 million acres in the central Gulf of Mexico up for bid to offshore energy producers.

The New Orleans sale will begin at 9 a.m. CDT Wednesday in the Superdome and include about 7,299 federally-owned drilling tracts, three to 230 miles off the coasts of Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi. The tracts are in water depths of nine to more than 11,115 feet.

It's estimated the sale could lead to the production of 460 million to 890 million barrels of oil, and 1.9 trillion to 3.9 trillion cubic feet of gas.

After the sale, Salazar will travel to Louisiana's Big Branch Marsh National Wildlife Refuge to see the progress of a marsh restoration project.


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