Last week, the Minerals Management Service conducted the biggest Central Gulf of Mexico lease sale in more than a decade. In case you had any doubt, deepwater is still bringing in the dollars. The average bid per block touched a new record, and the total number of bids submitted more than doubled last year's total. This dance just keeps heating up.
The top of the bidders' list included some familiar and expected names, like Chevron
One player that's new to me is Cobalt International Energy, a private operator backed by Goldman Sachs
The biggest beneficiaries of this deepwater dash are, of course, the service companies. Drillers like Atwood Oceanics
- Enthusiasm on Wall Street for the shallow water has ebbed.
- Some small operators are hitting it big where the majors no longer tread.
- We're still scratching our heads over this offshore driller departure.