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OFFSHORE:

Shell exploration rights could open door to remote western Gulf

HOUSTON -- One of the most remote offshore oil and gas operations in the Gulf of Mexico could become a platform for more ultra-deepwater development if new exploration rights bought by Royal Dutch Shell PLC prove fruitful.

The federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management yesterday concluded its latest offshore energy block lease sale in New Orleans. The agency accepted industry bids for exploration rights to potential oil and gas prospects in the Western Planning Area in federal waters of the western Gulf off the coast of Texas.

OFFSHORE DRILLING:

U.S. fetches $110M for western Gulf leases; industry clamors for new waters

The Interior Department today sold $110 million in oil and gas leases in the western Gulf of Mexico in a sale industry officials said illustrates the need to open new federal waters to drilling.

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management sold 81 tracts covering 434,000 acres, including 24 blocks along the nation's maritime border that will be subject to a new U.S.-Mexico hydrocarbon pact.

OFFSHORE:

U.S. opens bids for exploration in western Gulf

HOUSTON -- New offshore oil and gas prospects off the coast of Texas go on sale today in the latest federal lease bidding round.

Today at the Superdome in New Orleans more than a dozen companies are putting in offers for exploration rights in blocks of federal waters in the western Gulf of Mexico. Activity is expected to be modest as the bidding round covers the less-popular Western Planning Area (WPA).

WATER POLLUTION:

Coast Guard floats liability limit hike for oil spill damage

The Coast Guard is proposing to increase the liability limits for oil spill damage under the 1990 Oil Pollution Act in order to keep pace with inflation.

The law, enacted following the Exxon Valdez oil spill, beefed up contingency planning for spills and increased the amount the responsible party for a spill would owe to clean up and repair environmental damage. But it also set top-line dollar limits for how much a company could be required to pay due to a single incident.

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About this report

The sunken oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico is the worst oil spill in U.S. history. E&E examines the response to the spill, the politics of offshore drilling, and the aftermath for Gulf species and industries.

Industry

Politics

Natural Resources

Response