MMS Nets $297.5 Million in High Bids from Lease Sale 185

The U. S Department of the Interior's Minerals Management Service (MMS) has completed the two-phase bid evaluation process for Lease Sale 185. The sale was held on March 19, 2003.

Of the 561 tracts receiving bids, MMS rejected 16 high bids totaling $17,933,064 as insufficient for fair market value. MMS accepted the high bids on 545 tracts for a net amount of $297,598,165.

The highest bid accepted on a tract was $8,216,885 by Hunt Petroleum (AEC) Inc.-Cheyenne International Corp., and Energy Partners, Ltd. for South Marsh Island, South Addition Block 109. This top bid of the sale was in 0-199 meter water depth and received 3 bids. The second and third highest bids accepted were for $7,350,000 and $7,076,000 by Union Oil Company of California, Kerr-McGee Oil & Gas Corporation, and Ocean Energy, Inc. on Green Canyon Blocks 320 and 364 in 800-1,599 meter water depth.

This sale indicates the continued strong showing of both major and independent oil and gas companies participating in the Gulf.

The top five companies participating in the highest number of accepted high bids for Sale 185 are:

Company Tracts Sum of Accepted High Bids
Kerr-McGee Oil & Gas Corporation 63 $28,195,761
Newfield Exploration Company 49 $11,763,470
BHP Billiton Petroleum (Deepwater) Inc. 49 $ 9,605,538
Chevron U.S.A. Inc. 38 $ 9,321,717
Magnum Hunter Production, Inc. 38 $ 7,701,448

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

Company Tracts Sum of Accepted High Bids
Kerr-McGee Oil & Gas Corporation 63 $28,195,761
Murphy Exploration & Production Co. 35 $21,540,463
Union Oil Company of California 27 $18,709,956
Dominion Exploration & Production 12 $14,310,657
Newfield Exploration Company 49 $11,763,470
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