Yesterday’s region-wide Gulf of Mexico Lease Sale 253 generated $159,386,761 in high bids for 151 tracts covering 835,006 acres in federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico. A total of 27 companies participated in the lease sale, submitting $174,922,200 in all bids.
The high bid total was 10 percent less than last summer’s auction.
Still, Andrea Travnicek Deputy Assistant Secretary for Land and Minerals Management at the Department of the Interior declared “We are excited about the results from today’s lease sale, which show a continued upward trend for the year. The total from today’s lease sale and the March sale is the highest since 2015 for high bids.”
Lease Sale 253 included 14,585 unleased blocks, located from three to 231 miles offshore, in the Gulf’s Western, Central and Eastern Planning Areas in water depths ranging from nine to more than 11,115 feet (three to 3,400 meters).
The following were excluded from the lease sale:
One blocks subject to the congressional moratorium established by the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act of 2006, two blocks adjacent to or beyond the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone in the area known as the northern portion of the Eastern Gap, and (3) whole blocks and partial blocks within the boundaries of the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary.
“The Gulf of Mexico is the crown jewel of our nation’s energy portfolio,” said Mike Celata, director of BOEM’s New Orleans Office. “As one of the most productive basins in the world, the development of its resources are essential to the nation’s energy security.”
Lease Sale 253, livestreamed from New Orleans, was the fifth offshore sale held under the 2017-2022 National Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program. Under this program, ten region-wide lease sales are scheduled for the Gulf, where resource potential and industry interest are high, and oil and gas infrastructure is well established. Two Gulf lease sales will be held each year and include all available blocks in the combined Western, Central, and Eastern Gulf of Mexico Planning Areas.
All terms and conditions for Gulf of Mexico Region-wide Sale 253 are detailed in the Final Notice of Sale information package, which is available HERE
NOIA: Result “Somewhat modest”
National Ocean Industries Association (NOIA) Vice President of Communications and Member Development Nicolette Nye issued the following statement following the lease sale 253:
“The somewhat modest results of lease sale 253 reflect the cautiously optimistic attitude of an offshore industry still in recovery. While companies have improved the efficiency of their operations and rig rates and supply chain prices are more competitive, oil prices remain flat. Bidding activity today may reflect the slower than desired improvement in prices. There is also uncertainty surrounding pending regulatory actions such as financial assurance and fair market valuation.
“Deepwater and ultra-deepwater tracts drew high interest in this sale but shallow water tracts also proved to be attractive. Overall, todays’ sale demonstrates that the offshore oil and gas industry remains committed to the U.S. Gulf of Mexico. Each newly leased block represents a chance for further exploration, development and economic and energy opportunity. The U.S. Gulf of Mexico will continue to be a vital part of America’s economic and energy future.”