The oil and gas industry remains confident of the supplies available in the central Gulf of Mexico. The first oil and gas lease sale in that sector since the BP oil spill generated billions of dollars in bids.
Interior Secretary Ken Salazar opened the session at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. When it was over, more than $2 billion was bid for the rights in the central Gulf. Salazar announced the high bids in a conference call later in the day. He says it’s a good sign that business can function with new regulations enacted since the 2010 oil spill.
((“It’s proof positive that the oil and gas industry is confident they can meet the heightened safety requirements that we have instituted since the Deepwater Horizon.” ))
Bureau of Ocean Energy Management Director Tommy Beaudreau says his agency must now review the offers, including several from BP.
“We’ll do our independent verification of the bids submitted before actually awarding any leases. But, yes, BP submitted high bids, a total of 43 high bids.”
Winners will be announced within 90 days. The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement will then review the proposals before issuing drilling permits.