The U.S. government has accepted nearly $190 million in bids from an offshore oil and gas lease sale that was held nearly a year ago in the Gulf of Mexico but rejected by a federal judge, reports the Associated Press.
The action met a 30-day deadline set in the climate bill signed Aug. 16. That law also requires the bureau to reschedule three sales that had been put on hold by a moratorium ordered by President Joe Biden, with the first to be held by Dec. 31.
“We are pleased that the Department of the Interior has finally offered the first offshore leases of this administration, but it is disappointing that it took 19 months and an act of Congress to get us to this point,” says Cole Ramsey, vice president of upstream policy for the American Petroleum Institute.
The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management said Wednesday that it had accepted 307 valid high bids totaling just under $189.9 million from the November 2021 sale “in compliance with congressional direction.” Companies bid on about 2% of the tracts offered for sale in the Gulf of Mexico. Read the full story.