Gulf of Mexico Lease Sale Sees Slight Increase in Activity
The Trump administration billed Wednesday's offshore oil lease sale in the Gulf of Mexico as the biggest in United States history.
For the first time since 1983, the entire gulf was basically up for sale. The Interior Department was offering up a record 77 million acres for development, with discounted royalty rates on the shallower tracts.
The result was 33 companies making 125-million dollars in bids on 148 offshore tracts. That's a small increase from a lease sale in August.
"Successful sale, but it wasn't a barn burner in terms of the number of high bids," said Tulane Energy Institute Associate Director Smith.
Smith would go on to say that the lease sale was a small step towards ramping up production in the Gulf but oil production is still way down from where it was four years ago.
"We're operating a fraction of the number of drilling rigs that we were in 2014, like from 60 to 16 to 20. That's a pretty serious drop."
As expected in this political climate, there were several critics of this sale.
The Center for American Progress, a left-leaning policy think tank, said the following in a statement:
Offering a nearly unrestricted supply in a low demand market with a cut rate royalty and almost no competition is bad policy and an inexcusable waste of taxpayer resources.