NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Oil and gas companies made $178.1 million in high bids for federal leases in the Gulf of Mexico. That’s about 28 percent above the last gulf-wide sale in March.
The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management says 29 companies bid on 144 tracts Wednesday.
High bids averaged $1.2 million, up from $939,000 in March.
Regional Director Michael Celata says there’s clearly continued interest in deep water.
Spokesman John Filostrat says the four highest bids were in water more than 1,600 meters (about a mile) deep. They added up to $53 million, nearly 30 percent of Wednesday’s total.
The highest were Hess Corp.’s $25.9 million and Chevron USA’s $11.1 million.
Exxon-Mobil Corp. had 25 high bids for $40.5 million, including the day’s third- and fourth-highest, at $8.5 million and $7.5 million.