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77.8M Acres in Gulf of Mexico Available for Oil, Gas Lease

In March about 1.3 million acres drew $244.3 million in high bids.

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NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The federal government will offer 77.8 million acres in the Gulf of Mexico for oil and gas exploration and development on August 21. An Interior Department statement says the lease sale will include 14,585 tracts. They're in water three to 231 miles offshore and in water from nine feet to more than 2 miles deep.

Until August 2017, the Interior Department held separate lease sales for the Gulf's most active area and tracts off Texas. They were consolidated under an Obama administration plan created because bidder numbers were dwindling.

In March 78.5 million acres were offered and about 1.3 million acres drew $244.3 million in high bids. The high bid total was about 37 percent above the previous sale's and nearly double the March 2018 figure.

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