Feds will wait til March to open sealed Gulf bids

Posted on January 24, 2014 at 5:24 pm by Jennifer A. Dlouhy

WASHINGTON — Oil companies that hope to nab new drilling leases near the U.S.-Mexico boundary in the Gulf of Mexico will have to wait a little longer to see if they were successful.

Interior Secretary Sally Jewell on Friday made the decision not to immediately open sealed bids for the transboundary area that were received during an offshore oil and gas lease sale in August. Ins

Instead, those bids will be opened during two back-to-back lease sales planned for March 19.

“The department has provided the companies an option to have their bid opened in March at the upcoming Gulf of Mexico lease sale,” said Interior spokeswoman Jessica Kershaw. “Companies also have the option to withdraw their bid up to the day prior to the sale on March 19.”

Companies that submitted still-sealed bids for blocks in the area have the option to withdraw their bids and submit new ones for the same tracts at the time of the sale. Companies that did not submit bids for the territory will not have another crack at blocks in the region until the next western Gulf of Mexico lease sale later this year.

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