Companies bid more than $3.7 billion for the right to drill for oil and gas in Eastern and Central parts of the Gulf of Mexico, topping the record $2.9 billion raised in a sale in October, according to the Minerals Management Service.
BP’s Thunder Horse platform.
This lease sale is another milestone in that it’s the first under a plan to share a greater proportion of revenue with the states.
“Beginning with Lease Sale 224, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Texas will receive a greater share in all these revenues, including bids, rental payments and royalties,” said Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne. “These states will share in 37.5 percent of the high bids from today’s sale and all future revenues generated from the acreage leased today.”
Not everyone is happy about the new arrangement, however.
Rep. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), Chairman of the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming, called the new allocation “the king of all earmarks, a giveaway that keeps on giving” that “could eventually become more than a $170 billion windfall for a few Gulf Coast states over the next 60 years, and a serious reduction in federal funds needed for programs affecting all fifty states.”
“As the price of oil goes up, these four states will reap windfall profits from this deal, giving the other forty six states the short shrift when it comes time to fund important programs,” said Rep. Markey. “The fifty stars on the flag are all the same size. It’s time we end this entitlement program that takes the united out of the United States.”
Do you think Markey’s constituents will be willing to swap some of their picturesque New England scenery for some of Texas’ drilling platforms and a few hundred miles of pipeline?
Anyways, details of the lease sales are here.
The top five companies submitting the highest dollar amount of high bids for Sale 224:
The top five companies submitting the highest dollar amount of high bids for Sale 206: