Expected offshore acceleration in the Gulf of Mexico reiterated by favorable bid results.

On Wednesday, 29 March, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) held Gulf of Mexico Lease Sale 259, which generated nearly $264 million in high bids for 313 tracts covering 1.6 million acres in federal waters.  Lease Sale 259 offered approximately 13,600 unleased blocks containing ~73 million acres in the Gulf's Western, Central, and Eastern areas. 

The last lease sale for the Gulf occurred in November 2021. The Inflation Reduction Act, passed by Congress in August 2022, requires that previously announced offshore lease sales in the GoM and Alaska be held during the next two years. The American Petroleum Institute cheered the results, but added, " While today’s lease sale is a belated but positive step toward a more energy-secure future, it should not take an act of Congress to get us to this point."

TGS multi-client seismic data covers most awarded blocks, including 2 of the top 3 highest bids and the block receiving the most bids, NG15-05 in Keathley Canyon.  Moreover, new ultra-long offset data recently acquired by TGS covers over 40 of the blocks receiving bids, showing that TGS's commitment to new data acquisition in the GoM is helping drive exploration and development in the area. 

According to sale statistics provided by BOEM, 32 companies participated in the bidding process.  Chevron was the most aggressive bidder, winning 75 tracts representing ~$108 million, close to 30% of the number of blocks awarded and nearly 40% of the total high bid amount. Exxon added 69 blocks on the shelf, possibly to develop its ambitious carbon capture and storage (CCS) project in the Houston Ship Channel area. BP and Shell came in third and fourth place, winning 37 and 21 high bids, respectively. High bids increased by approximately $72 million or 38% compared to lease sale spending in 2021.

To learn more about TGS’s extensive data library in the region, visit https://www.tgs.com/seismic/multi-client/north-america



Figure: Sale 259 bid distribution overlaying TGS 2D and 3D seismic coverage in the Gulf of Mexico.