Results Are In For GOM Lease Sale 182

The MMS Gulf of Mexico Lease Sale 182 attracted $363,210,467 in high bids from 77 companies. Sale 182 offered 4,446 tracts comprising of approximately 23.4 million acres offshore Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi; the MMS received 697 bids on 506 tracts. The total of all bids was $442,441,036. Last year at Lease Sale 178, Part 1 drew 780 bids on 547 blocks with total bids coming in at $663,406,963.

Bidding activity was very heavy in the shallow water with 288 tracts in less than 650 feet of water receiving 405 bids. This amounts to 57 percent of the sale. MMS Director Johnnie Burton called the sale "a resounding success. This was more activity that we had been expecting. We are particularly pleased with the strong amount of bidding in the shallow water portion of the sale. Independent companies and majors both responded with bids in shallow water and were obviously encouraged by MMS’s newest incentive of royalty relief for deep gas." MMS first instituted a royalty incentive for deep gas in March 2001 but this was the first sale in the Central Gulf that contained the most recent revisions. Under the incentive, the first 20 Bcf of gas production from 15,000 feet or greater is royalty free. The highest bid received on a block was $17,466,000 submitted by Phillips Petroleum Company for Green Canyon 199. Approximately 31 percent of the tracts receiving bids are in ultra-deep water (more than 2,600 feet). The deepest tract bid on was Atwater Valley, Block 347 in 8,743 feet of water.