NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The federal government is offering nearly 22 million acres off the Texas coast to oil and gas developers, though low oil prices are likely to limit interest.
The sale is scheduled for Wednesday. The last comparable lease sales in the western Gulf of Mexico brought in $109.1 million and $100.1 million.
A March sale in the far more popular central Gulf of Mexico brought the lowest number of bids since 1986, and officials said low prices were the reason. Since then, the price of U.S. crude has dropped $1.44 a barrel.
An offshore trade group said in a news release Tuesday that members look forward to the sale "but do not anticipate jaw-dropping results." The National Ocean Industries Association cites low prices, uncertainty over new regulations and an upward trend in lawsuits over permits and leases.