U.S. Senator Mary L. Landrieu, D-La., today said she was encouraged by the strong interest among participants at the Central Gulf of Mexico lease sale -- the first in more than two years. The sale set a new record in high bids, bringing in $1.7 billion. While this is an important step in putting the Gulf back to work, Sen. Landrieu said there is still work to be done to streamline the permitting process. The sale took place in New Orleans and offered more than 39 million acres for oil and gas development on the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf.
"The tremendous success of the Central Gulf of Mexico lease sale illustrates the industry's confidence in the vast untapped potential for exploration and production in the Gulf. However, to realize this potential the industry must be allowed to drill. The industry must have clear and consistent guidelines in order for it to do its best work. I will continue to press the Department of the Interior to be more consistent and transparent in its permitting process," Sen. Landrieu said.