Bidding on federal oil and gas leases in the Gulf of Mexico last week was the lowest since the sales began in August 2017—and lower than any sale since 1993 for the productive central Gulf, the Associated Press reports.
Twenty-two companies made $93 million in high bids on 71 tracts, according to the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, which conducts the sales.
“Wow. That’s horrible, isn’t it?” Rene Santos, an analyst for S&P Global Platts, told the Associated Press.
“If the prices stay low for a long time, the next sale is going to be potentially worse,” he said, noting that prices plummeted again Wednesday from less than $27 a barrel to $20.37 a barrel.
A price war between Russia and Saudi Arabia and worldwide drops in travel because of the new coronavirus have cut oil prices to their lowest since 2002. The central Gulf sale that March $363.2 million in high bids on 506 tracts.