Eighteen percent of the accepted bids were in deepwater ranging from 2,624 to 5,248 feet and have a lease term of ten years, and 22 percent of the bids were in ultra-deepwater (5,249 feet or greater) and have a lease term of ten years. Shallow-water blocks in water depths up to 655 feet with a 5-year lease term received almost 44 percent of the accepted bids. MMS now has a royalty relief provision for 20 Bcf of deep gas production (greater than 15,000 feet) in shallow shelf waters.
The highest bid accepted on a tract was a bid of $8,353,500 by Dominion Exploration and Nexen Petroleum for Garden Banks Block 337. Garden Banks Block 337 is a block that was bid upon and rejected at the Western Gulf of Mexico Sale last year. The second highest bid in the sale was $5,851,587 by Shell Offshore for Garden Banks Block 338, and the third highest bid was a bid of $5,701,587 by Shell Offshore for Alaminos Canyon Block 432.
The highest bid and second highest bid in the sale were in the water depth interval of 400 to 799 meters (1,312 to 2,623 feet), and the third highest bid in the sale was in the water depth interval of 1,600+ meters (5,249 feet).
There were 44 companies participating in the sale, with 40 companies submitting bids. The companies that rank in the top ten in number of bids accepted for Sale 184 are:
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