- Associated Press - Tuesday, April 5, 2016

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - The federal government will offer 23.5 million acres off of Texas for oil and gas leases in August.

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management says that’s all the available waterbottom in the western Gulf of Mexico.

Spokesman John Filostrat (FIL-oh-strat) says the agency has not chosen a date or location.

Last August marked the smallest sale ever for the western Gulf. Five companies bid on 33 tracts for a total of $22.7 million in high bids. Each tract drew one bid.

A sale last month for central and eastern tracts was the central region’s fourth-lowest since regional sales began in 1983. Nobody bid on tracts in the eastern Gulf.

Industry lobbyist Randall Luthi blamed the low sales on both low oil and gas prices and uncertainty over possible future regulations.

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