BP plc (BP - Free Report) came out as the second highest bidder, with 21 high bids, in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico (GoM) lease sale 253, held on Wednesday. The company has a significant footprint in the U.S. GoM, wherein it uses advanced technology to produce oil. The company has presence in the region for more than 30 years and is currently the largest energy investor.
This lease sale was the second U.S. Gulf auction of the year that received around $159.4 million from 151 blocks. A total of 27 companies placed 165 bids in this lease sale, which covered 77.9 million acres, per the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management.
Notably, the total number of bids and their values are lower than the last two sales that took place in March 2019 and August 2018. However, the total of around $404 million in this year’s auction was the highest since 2015. This reflects a cautious but optimistic approach from energy companies in the offshore industry. With significant improvement in efficiency, offshore oil is again becoming profitable for producers, even at competitive prices.
The National Ocean Industries Association stated that the blocks in deepwater and ultra-deepwater regions witnessed fairly strong interest from energy companies in this sale. Most of the bids were for blocks close to existing infrastructures. This will likely enable the companies to opt for tie-back opportunities with the existing platforms, which can further lead to more cost savings and increased efficiencies.
Equinor ASA (EQNR - Free Report) placed the highest number of bids (23) among the list of companies. Anglo-Australian firm, BHP Billiton, the trading entity of BHP Group (BHP - Free Report) submitted 20 high bids, with the largest bid of $22.5 million for the Green Canyon 124 block. Chevron Corporation (CVX - Free Report) and Anadarko Petroleum provided total bid amount of $22.6 million and $23.4 million, respectively.
Winning the blocks in the U.S. GoM can help the British energy major, BP to reach its production target in the prolific region of 400,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (Boe/d) by middle of the next decade. So far, the company ramped up production from the area to more than 300,000 Boe/d from the 2013 level of 200,000 Boe/d.
Price Performance & Zacks Rank
BP has lost 3.1% year to date compared with 4.9% decline of its industry. The company is currently carrying a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
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