The company submitted winning bids representing a total investment of about $136 million. The 26 tracts cover nearly 150,000 acres in water depths ranging from 7,000 to 9,500 feet.
Robert J. Allison, Jr., Anadarko chairman and chief executive officer, commended the Minerals Management Service for their dedicated effort to move forward with the Eastern Gulf of Mexico sale. "These tracts have not been available for exploration since 1988, well before major advancements in deep water exploration and production technology. The opportunity to explore this acreage, and the significant resources that lie beneath, is a positive move for this Administration and for energy consumers," he said.
"It's as if we've been peering over the fence for the last 13 years, with great opportunities just out of reach. Finally, the fences are coming down," Allison said. "In addition to providing vital energy resources for the nation, exploration and production operations are conducted with the utmost care so that marine and coastal environments are protected.
"We have gathered and interpreted an extensive amount of information about these blocks, and we're convinced they hold substantial oil and gas reserves with relatively low geologic risk. Since a lot of the preliminary work has already been completed, the prospects can be drilled relatively soon - as soon as late 2002 - which makes this addition a good complement to Anadarko's portfolio.
"As evidenced in this sale and other recent activity, Anadarko is systematically and strategically increasing our position in the deep water Gulf of Mexico," Allison added.
Prior to this sale, Anadarko held a total of 351 leases in the Gulf, of which 109 are located in deep water. Additionally, the company has a partnership with BP to explore 95 deep water blocks held by BP in the Garden Banks and Keathley Canyon areas of the Central Gulf of Mexico.
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