The lease sale, held on March 16, 2005, attracted nine companies submitting bids on 12 of the 124 tracts offered. Bids totaling $6,974,531 on the 12 tracts were accepted by MMS. However, one company declined its two awarded leases – De Soto Canyon Block 448 and De Soto Canyon Block 492. This action resulted in the forfeiture of the 1/5th bonus bid deposit for each lease – $49,651.20 and $45,043.20, respectively. As a result, MMS netted a total amount of $6,595,753.40 for Lease Sale 197.
Each of the tracts received a single bid, and each is located more than 100 miles offshore Alabama in water depths greater than 1,600 meters.
The highest bid accepted on a tract was $2,037,379 by Helis Oil & Gas Company, L.L.C., Red Willow Offshore, LLC, and Houston Energy, L.P. for Lloyd Ridge Block 272. The second highest bidders, Spinnaker Exploration Company, L.L.C., and Dominion Exploration & Production, Inc., submitted $1,566,000 on De Soto Canyon Block 797. Petrobras America Inc., the third highest bidder, submitted $552,384 on Lloyd Ridge Block 92.
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