The MMS Central Gulf of Mexico Lease Sale 175 was brisk but was not a barn-burner. However, the sale was up 75% from last year. Apparent winning bids totaled $300.5 million this year compared to high bids of $172 million from last year. Only 344 tracts drew bids out of the 4,203 tracts being offered, up from last year's sale in which 207 tracts drew bids out of 3,806 tracts offered. When the boom was on in 1997 and 1998 there were $824 million and $810 million in total high bids, respectively. ExxonMobil submitted the highest bid of $23 million for Mississippi Canyon 555, which is just north of the Crazy Horse prospect and has a water depth of approximately 4,800 feet. Anadarko Petroleum was the second highest bidder on 33 tracts with bids totaling $24.9 million. Other high bidders include Marathon Oil with 13 high bids totaling $20.9 million and Vastar Resources with 27 high bids totaling $17.9 million. The Minerals Management Service will evaluate the bids and the final results will be released in approximately 90 days.

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