Industry bids for 4.4% of central gulf acres offered

A total high bonus of $1.2 billion at Central Gulf of Mexico Sale 227 masked the fact that oil and gas companies made only 407 bids on 320 of the 7,299 blocks offered.

Only 58 blocks drew more than a single bid, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management revealed in sale statistics. The 52 participating companies lodged 131 bids for blocks in 1,600 m of water or more, 78 bids for tracts in 800 m to less than 1,600 m of water, and 85 bids for blocks in less than 200 m of water.

Blocks totaling 1.7 million acres off Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama drew bids even though the government offered 38.6 million acres. No block drew more than six bids.

Shell Offshore Inc. bid high for 38 blocks, Anadarko US Offshore Corp. and ConocoPhillips 30 blocks each, and BHP Billiton Petroleum (Deepwater) Inc. 24 blocks. Statoil Gulf of Mexico LLC and Venari Offshore LLC submitted the high bids on 15 blocks each.

Statoil and Samson Offshore LLC put up the sale’s highest bid of $81.8 million for Walker Ridge Block 271. The block drew only one other bid. ExxonMobil Corp. made the sale’s second highest high bid, offering $66.1 million for Keathley Canyon Block 789.

Cobalt Energy International LP and Total E&P USA Inc. joined for the third highest bid, $53.9 million for Walker Ridge Block 232, Shell was fourth high at $52.9 million for De Soto Canyon 489, and ExxonMobil bid $51.8 million for Walker Ridge 749. All five blocks are in more than 1,600 m of water.

On Walker Ridge Block 187 in the deeper than 1,600 m of water range, which drew six bids, Venari Offshore made the top offer of $45.5 million.

In the 800 m to less than 1,600 m of water category, BHP Billiton put up the sale’s sixth highest high bid at $46 million for Green Canyon 564, and ExxonMobil made the sale’s eighth highest high bid of $43.1 million for Green Canyon 327.

Only 26 tracts in 200 m to less than 800 m of water drew bids.

Other active bidders included Talos Energy Offshore LLC, Maersk Oil Gulf of Mexico Two LLC, Plains Exploration & Production Co., LLOG Bluewater Holdings LLC, Stone Energy Offshore LLC, and Ridgewood Energy Corp.

BP PLC did not submit bids even though the Department of Interior had said that BP could submit bids. Currently, BP is suspended from receiving new government contracts because of the April 2010 Macondo oil spill. DOI recently said BP could bid, and the government then would determine the status of the BP's suspension when the leases are finalized in about 90 days.

BOEM noted that the sale terms included an increased minimum bid for deepwater tracts, escalating rental rates, and tiered durational terms with relatively short base periods followed by additional time under the same lease if the operator drills a well during the initial period.

BOEM increased the deepwater minimum bid requirement to $100/acre, up from $37.50 in previous Central gulf sales. Rigorous analysis showed that leases that received high bids of less than $100/acre experienced virtually no exploration and development, the agency said.

Each high bid on a tract will go through a strict evaluation process within BOEM to ensure the public receives fair market value before a lease is awarded.

Related Articles

PHMSA proposes pipeline accident notification regulations

07/02/2015 The US Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration has proposed new federal oil and gas pipeline accident and notification regulations. ...

FourPoint Energy to acquire Anadarko basin assets from Chesapeake

07/02/2015 FourPoint Energy LLC, a privately owned Denver company, plans to acquire oil and gas assets from Chesapeake Energy Corp. subsidiaries Chesapeake Ex...

Puma Energy completes purchase of Murco’s UK refinery, terminals

07/02/2015 Singapore-based Puma Energy Group Pte. has completed its purchase of UK midstream and downstream assets from Murco Petroleum Ltd., a subsidiary of ...

BP to settle federal, state Deepwater Horizon claims for $18.7 billion

07/02/2015 BP Exploration & Production Inc. has agreed in principle to settle all federal and state claims arising from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon inciden...

MARKET WATCH: NYMEX oil prices plummet on crude inventory build, Iran deadline extension

07/02/2015 Oil prices plummeted more than $2/bbl July 1 to settle at a 2-month low on the New York market after a weekly government report showed the first ri...

API to issue recommended practice to address pipeline safety

07/01/2015 The American Petroleum Institute expects to issue a new recommended practice in another few weeks that addresses pipeline safety issues, but the tr...

Shell Midstream Partners takes interest in Poseidon oil pipeline

07/01/2015 Shell Midstream Partners LP has completed its acquisition of 36% equity interest in Poseidon Oil Pipeline Co. LLC from Equilon Enterprises LLC, a s...

MARKET WATCH: Oil prices decline as US crude inventories post first gain in 9 weeks

07/01/2015 Oil prices on July 1 surrendered much of their gains from the day before after the release of a government report showing the first rise in US crud...

Tullow Oil provides production update on Jubilee, other fields

07/01/2015 Tullow Oil PLC reported that gross production for the Jubilee field offshore Ghana averaged 105,000 b/d in this year’s first half, up from 102,000 ...
White Papers

Definitive Guide to Cybersecurity for the Oil & Gas Industry

In the Oil and Gas industry, there is no single adversary and no single threat to the information tech...

UAS Integration for Infrastructure: More than Just Flying

Oil and gas companies recognize the benefits that the use of drones or unmanned aerial systems (UAS) c...

Solutions to Financial Distress Resulting from a Weak Oil and Gas Price Environment

The oil and gas industry is in the midst of a prolonged worldwide downturn in commodity prices. While ...
Sponsored by

2015 Global Engineering Information Management Solutions Competitive Strategy Innovation and Leadership Award

The Frost & Sullivan Best Practices Awards recognise companies in a variety of regional and global...
Sponsored by

Three Tips to Improve Safety in the Oil Field

Working oil fields will always be tough work with inherent risks. There’s no getting around that. Ther...
Sponsored by

Pipeline Integrity: Best Practices to Prevent, Detect, and Mitigate Commodity Releases

Commodity releases can have catastrophic consequences, so ensuring pipeline integrity is crucial for p...
Sponsored by

AVEVA’s Digital Asset Approach - Defining a new era of collaboration in capital projects and asset operations

There is constant, intensive change in the capital projects and asset life cycle management. New chall...
Sponsored by

Transforming the Oil and Gas Industry with EPPM

With budgets in the billions, timelines spanning years, and life cycles extending over decades, oil an...
Sponsored by
Available Webcasts

Better Data, Better Analytics, Better Decisions

When Tue, Oct 27, 2015

The Oil & Gas industry has large amounts of data stored in multiple systems which are purpose built for certain tasks. However, good decisions require insights based upon the data in all of these systems. These systems in turn do not talk to each other. So the process of analyzing data, gaining insights, and making decisions is a slow one and often a flawed one. Good decisions require accurate analytics and accurate analytics require superior/sustainable data quality and governance. This webinar focuses on:

  • The importance of data quality and governance
  • How technological advances are making data quality and governance sustainable in order to get the accurate analytics to make solid decisions.

Please join us for this webcast sponsored by Seven Lakes Technologies and Noah Consulting.


Operating a Sustainable Oil & Gas Supply Chain in North America

When Tue, Oct 20, 2015

Short lead times and unpredictable conditions in the Oil & Gas industry can create costly challenges in supply chains. By implementing a LEAN culture of continuous improvement you can eliminate waste, increase productivity and gain end-to-end visibility leading to a sustainable and well-oiled supply chain.

Please join us for this webcast sponsored by Ryder System, Inc.


On Demand

Leveraging technology to improve safety & reliability

Tue, Sep 22, 2015

Attend this informative webinar to learn more about how to leverage technology to meet the new OSHA standards and protect your employees from the hazards of arc flash explosions.


The Resilient Oilfield in the Internet of Things World

Tue, Sep 22, 2015

As we hear about the hype surrounding the Internet of Things, the oil and gas industry is questioning what is different than what is already being done. What is new?  Using sensors and connecting devices is nothing new to our mode of business and in many ways the industry exemplifies many principles of an industrial internet of things. How does the Internet of Things impact the oil and gas industry?

Prolific instrumentation and automation digitized the industry and has changed the approach to business models calling for a systems led approach.  Resilient Systems have the ability to adapt to changing circumstances while maintaining their central purpose.  A resilient system, such as Maximo, allows an asset intensive organization to leverage connected devices by merging real-time asset information with other critical asset information and using that information to create a more agile organization.  

Join this webcast, sponsored by IBM, to learn how about Internet of Things capabilities and resilient systems are impacting the landscape of the oil and gas industry.


Emerson Micro Motion Videos

Careers at TOTAL

Careers at TOTAL - Videos

More than 600 job openings are now online, watch videos and learn more!


Click Here to Watch

Other Oil & Gas Industry Jobs

Search More Job Listings >>
Stay Connected