Gulf of Mexico

The federal government is set to sell off oil and natural gas leases in the central Gulf of Mexico off the coasts of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama.

The sale, taking place in the Superdome, starts at 9 a.m. CDT and ends at noon, when the U.S. Department of the Interior is expected to announce the results.

The government is offering 7,434 tracts covering about 38 million acres. As of Tuesday, 593 bids were submitted by 48 companies for 454 tracts.

The blocks are located from three to about 230 miles offshore.

The body of a pilot whose helicopter crashed in the Gulf of Mexico has been recovered. The Coast Guard says divers from the vessel Ocean Inspector found the pilot inside the aircraft's cockpit. The helicopter, owned by PHI Inc., crashed yesterday and was used to take people to oil rigs. 

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Gin bottles, cannons, muskets and ceramic dinnerware, some 200 years old, have been discovered at a shipwreck site in little-chartered waters off the northern coast of the Gulf of Mexico.

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