Look for oil platforms to start popping up in the Gulf of Mexico off Texas in the coming years, as the Obama Administration today received nearly $110 million in bids for the right to drill for oil and gas on 400,000 acres in the Western Gulf, Newsradio 1200 WOAI reports.
"The sale underscores the President's commitment to create jobs and home grown energy through the safe and responsible exploration and development of offshore energy resources," Mike Connor, Deputy Secretary of the Interior, told Newsradio 1200 WOAI.
A total of 21.6 million acres was up for bid today. The tracts leased stretch from nine to 250 miles of the Texas coast, and range from shallow water 10 feet deep to deep water nearly 11,000 feet down.
The Interior Department estimates that the Gulf area holds 116 to 200 million barrels of oil and 538 to 938 billion cubic feet of natural gas.
But Bruce Bullock of the McGuire Energy Institute at SMU says the real story is that there were only 14 bidders, as opposed to more than fifty in previous lease sales.
"While the gulf remains an active profitable basin, this reflects the continuing shift of capital from offshore to onshore developments such as the Eagle Ford and Permian," Bullock said. "More potential lies in the Eastern gulf which the Administration has yet to open to leasing and may attract more interest."