- Associated Press - Monday, March 17, 2014

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - The Louisiana Mineral and Energy Board collected nearly $770,000 during its March sale of mineral rights on state and local lands.

The March sale drew $769,753 in total bids, down from $1.1 million in February. The state awarded nine leases covering 2,500 acres out of 40 nominated tracts stretching over more than 57,000 acres.

According to lease sale records, the state rejected a $46,323 offer from Houston-based Surfside for the rights to drill more than 1,000 acres offshore Vermillion Parish saying the bid amount was too low.

The Times-Picayune reports (http://bit.ly/1iW5sMa ) several nominated tracts were withdrawn from the sale and did not receive bids, also contributing to the lower turnout in March.

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Information from: The Times-Picayune, http://www.nola.com