Back in October, the heavyweight offshore oil explorers danced up a storm in a heralded Central Gulf of Mexico lease sale. I suggested that the firms' acreage avarice wasn't close to letting up, and the most recent lease sale confirms this. Last week's Central Gulf sale touched a fresh record of $3.7 billion in high bids.
In terms of number of high bids submitted, BP
Unlike August's Western Gulf sale, StatoilHydro
Though far less flashy, there was also a small sale in the Eastern Gulf, which was notable for its new revenue-sharing model with the coastal states. This is very much a frontier area, never before subjected to seismic study. So while the bidding was modest, it'll be worth monitoring the winners' exploration efforts.