BOEM Completes Tract Evaluation and Awards Leases
The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) completed its required evaluation of bids to ensure that the public receives fair market value for tracts leased as part of the Gulf of Mexico Central Planning Area Oil and Gas Lease Sale 231, which was held on March 19, 2014 and made 7,511 unleased blocks covering about 39.6 million acres available offshore Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama.
After extensive economic analysis, BOEM awarded 320 leases on tracts covering 1,662,203, acres to the successful high bidders who participated in the sale. The accepted high bids are valued at $845,892,132.
During the sale, 50 companies submitted 380 bids totaling $1,085,372,484 on 326 tracts. A total of $850,809,921 was received in high bids. BOEM rejected five high bids, totaling $4,371,639 after determining that the value of those bids was insufficient to provide the public with fair market value for the tracts. In addition, a $546,150 bid was rejected because the bonus did not meet the specified minimum bid requirement per acre for the tract's water depth category.
BOEM will reoffer these tracts as part of the next Central Planning Area sale, which is currently scheduled for March of 2015.
The highest bid accepted was $68,790,000, submitted by Freeport-McMoRan Oil and Gas LLC for Atwater Valley, Block 198. The tract is at depths between 2,625-5,250 feet (800-1600 meters) and received six bids.
The terms and conditions of Sale 231 encourage diligent development, environmental protection and ensure a fair return to taxpayers, and the sale's results reflect strong, continuing industry interest in the Gulf of Mexico.