Western Gulf of Mexico Sale 196 Nets $283,441,874 in High Bids

The Minerals Management Service has accepted the high bids on 342 of 346 tracts offered during offshore Oil and Gas Lease Sale 196, held August 17, 2005. Prior to accepting the high bids, which totaled $285,192,865, MMS completed an extensive, two-phase bid evaluation process to ensure that the Federal Government receives a fair monetary return for the public mineral resources it makes available.

Of the 346 tracts receiving bids during the sale, MMS rejected 4 high bids totaling $1,750,991 as insufficient for fair market value. MMS accepted the high bids on 342 tracts for a net amount of $283,441,874.

The monies collected are distributed to the general fund of the U.S. Treasury, shared with the affected States, and set aside for special uses that benefit all 50 states.

The highest bid accepted on a tract was $26,500,000 by LLOG Exploration Offshore, Inc. for High Island Block 156. This tract is located in water depths of 0-<200 meters and received 1 bid. The second and third highest bids accepted were $21,600,000 by LLOG Exploration Offshore Inc. on High Island Block 139 in water depths of 0-<200 meters, and $19,334,351 by Eni Petroleum Exploration Co. Inc. on Keathley Canyon Block 1008, which is in water depths of more than 2,000 meters deep.

This sale indicates the continued strong interest of major and independent oil and gas companies in the Gulf. The results of the sale also indicate a continuing interest in shallow-water areas.

The top five companies participating in the highest number of accepted high bids for Sale 196 are the following:

Company Number of Accepted High Bids Sum of Accepted High Bids
Petrobras America Inc. 53 $30,122,505
BP Exploration & Production Inc. 39 $13,669,349
Shell Offshore Inc. 30 $12,786,240
Anadarko Petroleum Corporation 20 $28,007,460
Chevron U.S.A. Inc. 17 $ 6,609,115

The top five companies with the highest total bonus accepted are the following:

Company Number of Accepted High Bids Sum of Accepted High Bids
Petrobras America Inc. 53 $30,122,505
Anadarko Petroleum Corporation 20 $28,007,460
BP Exploration & Production Inc. 39 $13,669,349
Shell Offshore Inc. 30 $12,786,240
Spinnaker Exploration Company, L.L.C. 16 $10,355,957
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