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12 14, 2011 by The Times-Picayune
ConocoPhillips outbid the Union Oil Company of California by nearly $20 million for the first tract announced this morning at the oil and natural gas lease sale -- the first lease sale since last year's BP oil spill -- which was held in New Orleans. ConocoPhillips won the bid for the tract, located in block 95 of the Keathley Canyon section of the Gulf of Mexico, for $103 million.
The bid drew audible gasps from some in the crowd at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome as it was announced by Interior Secretary Ken Salazar. The tract had seven bids overall.
The sale attracted 241 bids from 20 companies on 191 tracts offshore Texas, compared to 189 bids submitted by 27 companies on 162 tracts during the previous western Gulf lease sale in August 2009, the Interior Department's Bureau of Ocean Energy Management said in a statement Tuesday.
Upwards of 423 million barrels of oil and 2.65 trillion cubic feet of natural gas could be produced as a result of the sale, according to agency figures.
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