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MMS Lease Sale 196 Sees Wide Participation

While it will be approximately three months until final results are known, the U.S. Minerals Management Service's (MMS) is ranking its Western Gulf of Mexico Oil and Gas Lease Sale 196 -- which was held Wednesday morning in New Orleans -- as a success, with a number of companies making a strong showing (see Daily GPI, Aug. 18).

The MMS noted that 56 companies participated in the lease sale, which offered 3,762 tracts totaling 20.3 million acres offshore Texas and Louisiana. The government agency received 422 bids on 346 tracts and garnered over $285 million in high bids.

Breaking down the preliminary results from the sale, which are still subject to MMS review, Petrobras America was the apparent high bidder on the most blocks with 53, followed by BP Exploration & Production (40), Shell Offshore (30), Anadarko Petroleum (20), Chevron U.S.A. (17) and Spinnaker Exploration Co. LLC and Kerr-McGee Oil & Gas tied (16).

The company with the highest total amount of high bids was LLOG Exploration Offshore. The company was high bidder on four blocks for a total $49 million, which included $26.5 million for High Island 156, the highest bid received on a block.

Following LLOG for highest amount of high bids was Petrobras America ($30.1 M), Anadarko Petroleum ($28 M), ENI Petroleum Exploration ($23.4 M), BP Exploration & Production ($13.9 M) and Shell Offshore ($12.8 M).

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