Shell Highest Bidder in MMS Beaufort Sea Oil, Gas Lease Sale

WASHINGTON Apr 19, 2007 (Dow Jones News)

Royal Dutch Shell PLC (RDSA) was the highest bidder on the most oil and gas exploration blocks in the U.S. Minerals Management Service Beaufort Sea lease sale, according to details posted by the MMS Wednesday.

Shell submitted high bids on 49 of the 92 blocks auctioned off in the Alaskan oil and gas lease, for roughly $39.3 million of the total $42 million the MMS garnered from all of the blocks. The Beaufort Sea Sale offered 254 blocks totaling 8.7 million acres offshore Alaska's northern coast.

"We are pleased with the sale results," said MMS Regional Director John Goll. "The oil and gas resources present in the Beaufort Sea are vital to our nation's and Alaska's economy, and we hope this will boost future supplies into the Trans-Alaska pipeline."

Shell's primary focus was on blocks around Flaxman Island.

France's Total SA (TOT) submitted high bids on 32 blocks with a total bid price of $2.2 million. Italy's Eni SPA (E) submitted high bids on seven blocks, with a total bid price of $466,000. ConocoPhillips (COP) and BP PLC (BP) were high bidders on one block each.

Copyright (c) 2007 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.

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