Interior Dept. Holds First Central Gulf Lease Sale Since Deepwater Horizon Spill

The U.S. Department of the Interior says today's oil and gas lease sale for the Central Gulf of Mexico attracted over $1.7 billion in high bids. It's the first lease sale for the Central Gulf since the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster.

The lease sale covered 39 million acres on the outer continental shelf offshore Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama. A total of 56 offshore energy companies bid on more than 2.4 million acres.

Bracewell & Giuliani partner Scott Segal was in New Orleans for the sale.

“I think the real teaching of this auction is that there is still optimism in working in the Gulf. There are a lot of folks that have worked together in coalition to make sure that the administration knows that there’s a strong support base for drilling and that it’s essential to energy security.”

Segal notes that before a company can begin drilling, it still has to get a permit from the Interior Department.

“And what we have seen in the last several months in this administration is that the amount of time it takes to move from lease to final permit has grown by a substantial amount, creating a lot of business uncertainty in the business community.”

The sale builds on the Interior Department’s December lease sale for the Western Gulf. That sale offered leases on more than 21 million acres offshore Texas. It drew high bids of nearly $340 million on over a million acres.

Lease Sale Map – Bid Distribution

 
Bio photo of Andrew Schneider

Andrew Schneider

Business Reporter

Andrew Schneider joined KUHF in January 2011, after more than a decade as a print reporter for The Kiplinger Letter...