Central Gulf of Mexico Sale 198 Nets $581,820,861 in High Bids



The Minerals Management Service (MMS) has accepted high bids valued at $581,820,861 and awarded 392 leases to the successful high bidders who participated in Oil and Gas Lease Sale 198. Funds from the total high bids will be distributed to the general fund of the U. S. Treasury, shared with the affected States, and set aside for special uses that benefit all fifty states.

The leases were awarded following the completion of 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.

Lease Sale 198, held March 15, 2006, attracted 82 companies submitting 707 bids totaling $978,310,887 on 405 tracts. Of those 405 tracts receiving $588,309,791 in high bids, MMS rejected 12 high bids totaling $6,274,930 as insufficient for fair market value. MMS accepted the high bids on 392 tracts for an amount of $581,820,861. Green Canyon Block 215 received an invalid high bid and was rejected in accordance with MMS regulations.

The highest bid accepted on a tract was $42,789,994, made by Amerada Hess Corporation for Green Canyon Block 287. This tract is in deep water (800-1,600m) and received 8 bids. The second highest accepted bid is $33,989,760 on Green Canyon Block 551 by Anadarko Petroleum Corporation and Newfield Exploration Company, and is also in deep water (800-1,600m). The third highest accepted bid is $26,601,201 on Green Canyon Block 452 by Woodside Energy (USA) Inc. in deep water (800-1,600m).

"Sale 198 indicates the continued strong interest of major and independent oil and gas companies in the Gulf," noted Gulf of Mexico Acting Regional Director Chuck Schoennagel. "The results of the sale also indicate a continuing interest in shallow-water areas, with 47 percent of the tracts receiving bids in less than 200 meters of water and 53 percent of the tracts receiving bids in greater than 200 meters of water."

The top five companies with the highest number of accepted high bids for Sale 198 are the following:

Company Num. Accepted High Bids Sum Accepted High Bids
BP Exploration & Production Inc. 72 $22,006,273
BHP Billiton Petroleum (Deepwater) Inc. 26 $ 7,661,284
Hunt Oil Company 23 $10,943,280
Dominion Exploration & Production, Inc. 16 $41,417,099
Hydro Gulf of Mexico, L. L. C. 14 $20,117,740

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

Company Num. Accepted High Bids Sum Accepted High Bids
Hess Corporation 13 $62,593,922
Woodside Energy (USA) Inc. 12 $47,162,990
Dominion Exploration & Production, Inc. 16 $41,417,099
Newfield Exploration Company 6 $32,208,909
Samson Offshore Company 10 $27,109,326

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