Gulf of Mexico Lease Sale Nets $2.6 Billion (XOM, COP, CVX, APA, RDS-A, APC, NBL, BP, BHP, STO)

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The US Department of Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) yesterday held a lease sale for 39 million acres of US outer continental shelf open for development. The total of all bids came to $2.6 billion for 2.4 million acres.

The roster of bidders totaled 56 companies, including Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM), ConocoPhillips (NYSE: COP), Chevron Corp. (NYSE: CVX), Apache Corp. (NYSE: APA, Royal Dutch Shell plc (NYSE: RDS-A), Anadarko Petroleum Co. (NYSE: APC), Noble Energy Inc. (NYSE: NBL), BP plc (NYSE: BP), BHP Billiton plc (NYSE: BHP), and Statoil ASA (NYSE: STO).

The largest amount of acreage leased was in water less than 250 feet deep — more than 913,000 acres. Ultradeepwater leases (more than about 5,000 feet deep) were the next biggest seller with nearly 836,000 leased acres sold.

The single highest bid came in at $157 million for a block in the Mississippi Canyon area. The block received four bids and the eventual winner was Statoil’s Mexican subsidiary.

Shell led the big spenders, with a total of $406.6 million, followed by Statoil ($333.3 million), BP ($239.5 million), and Chevron ($189.6 million).

The BOEM estimates that hydrocarbon recovery from the leased areas will yield up to 1.6 billion barrels of oil and up to 6.6 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. The federal royalty rate on production from these sales is 18.75%.

Before leases are awarded the BOEM evaluates the winning bids “to ensure the public receives fair market value before a lease is awarded.”

The press release announcing the results of the sale is available here.

Paul Ausick

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