• 6 hours Oil Prices Rise After API Reports Major Crude Draw
  • 6 hours Citgo President And 5 VPs Arrested On Embezzlement Charges
  • 7 hours Gazprom Speaks Out Against OPEC Production Cut Extension
  • 7 hours Statoil Looks To Lighter Oil To Boost Profitability
  • 9 hours Oil Billionaire Becomes Wind Energy’s Top Influencer
  • 10 hours Transneft Warns Urals Oil Quality Reaching Critical Levels
  • 11 hours Whitefish Energy Suspends Work In Puerto Rico
  • 12 hours U.S. Authorities Arrest Two On Major Energy Corruption Scheme
  • 24 hours Thanksgiving Gas Prices At 3-Year High
  • 1 day Iraq’s Giant Majnoon Oilfield Attracts Attention Of Supermajors
  • 1 day South Iraq Oil Exports Close To Record High To Offset Kirkuk Drop
  • 1 day Iraqi Forces Find Mass Graves In Oil Wells Near Kirkuk
  • 1 day Chevron Joint Venture Signs $1.7B Oil, Gas Deal In Nigeria
  • 1 day Iraq Steps In To Offset Falling Venezuela Oil Production
  • 2 days ConocoPhillips Sets Price Ceiling For New Projects
  • 4 days Shell Oil Trading Head Steps Down After 29 Years
  • 4 days Higher Oil Prices Reduce North American Oil Bankruptcies
  • 4 days Statoil To Boost Exploration Drilling Offshore Norway In 2018
  • 4 days $1.6 Billion Canadian-US Hydropower Project Approved
  • 4 days Venezuela Officially In Default
  • 4 days Iran Prepares To Export LNG To Boost Trade Relations
  • 5 days Keystone Pipeline Leaks 5,000 Barrels Into Farmland
  • 5 days Saudi Oil Minister: Markets Will Not Rebalance By March
  • 5 days Obscure Dutch Firm Wins Venezuelan Oil Block As Debt Tensions Mount
  • 5 days Rosneft Announces Completion Of World’s Longest Well
  • 5 days Ecuador Won’t Ask Exemption From OPEC Oil Production Cuts
  • 5 days Norway’s $1 Trillion Wealth Fund Proposes To Ditch Oil Stocks
  • 5 days Ecuador Seeks To Clear Schlumberger Debt By End-November
  • 6 days Santos Admits It Rejected $7.2B Takeover Bid
  • 6 days U.S. Senate Panel Votes To Open Alaskan Refuge To Drilling
  • 6 days Africa’s Richest Woman Fired From Sonangol
  • 6 days Oil And Gas M&A Deal Appetite Highest Since 2013
  • 6 days Russian Hackers Target British Energy Industry
  • 6 days Venezuela Signs $3.15B Debt Restructuring Deal With Russia
  • 6 days DOJ: Protestors Interfering With Pipeline Construction Will Be Prosecuted
  • 6 days Lower Oil Prices Benefit European Refiners
  • 7 days World’s Biggest Private Equity Firm Raises $1 Billion To Invest In Oil
  • 7 days Oil Prices Tank After API Reports Strong Build In Crude Inventories
  • 7 days Iraq Oil Revenue Not Enough For Sustainable Development
  • 7 days Sudan In Talks With Foreign Oil Firms To Boost Crude Production
James Burgess

James Burgess

James Burgess studied Business Management at the University of Nottingham. He has worked in property development, chartered surveying, marketing, law, and accounts. He has also…

More Info

U.S. Auctions Gulf Offshore Leases

U.S. Auctions Gulf Offshore Leases

On March 19 the U.S. Department of Interior sold leases on tracts of ocean in the Gulf of Mexico for oil and gas exploration. The sale was to be two-part – an auction for leases in the Central Gulf and the Eastern Gulf, but no companies bid on the latter. The eastern Gulf is believed to be less rich in fossil fuel reserves.

After reaching an agreement with the U.S. EPA over the Deepwater Horizon disaster, which spilled nearly five million gallons of crude oil into the Gulf and killed 11 people, BP was allowed to return to bidding. The EPA suspended BP for 16 months after concluding the company had not done enough to correct its failures. BP sued to have its suspension lifted, and the two sides came to an agreement earlier this month. BP submitted 31 bids and won 24 of them, according to Jennifer Dlouhy of Fuel Fix. BP submitted 8 bids in the Mississippi Canyon block, located near the site of the 2010 Macondo well blowout.

Related Article: Claimants Win Legal Battle with BP over Oil Spill

Another interesting development were leases along the U.S.-Mexican border, areas that were opened up after Congress passed a treaty governing cross-border oil exploration. ExxonMobil appears to have won three of these tracts.

Also, the Department of Interior auctioned off 519 tracts of the Central Gulf that were obtained by the federal government. The unique circumstances in this auction were thought to have sparked greater interest than usual. On the other hand, several major oil companies over the past few months have promised to reduce expenditures on elephant projects after posting gloomy numbers in their 2013 earnings reports. And while the Gulf of Mexico remains a lucrative play for oil and gas majors, onshore shale plays have proven to be highly productive with less risk.

Winning bids totaled only $850.8 million. This was down from the $1.2 billion raised from the 2013 auction of Central Gulf leases, and much lower than the $1.7 billion raised the year before. At the cut off time for receiving bids on March 18, there had been 380 bids for 326 blocks in the Central Gulf.

By James Burgess of Oilprice.com



Join the discussion | Back to homepage

Leave a comment

Leave a comment

Oilprice - The No. 1 Source for Oil & Energy News