Eni expands Gulf of Mexico footprint

March 22, 2013 at 8:13 AM

MILAN, Italy, March 22 (UPI) -- Concessions won during this week's lease sale in the central Gulf of Mexico add to a lucrative deep-water footprint, Italian company Eni said.

Eni announced it was the high bidder for five blocks in the Mississippi Canyon and Desoto Canyon in the Gulf of Mexico at this week's auction in New Orleans.

"They consolidate Eni's acreage position in two key areas in the Gulf of Mexico where the company currently holds a total of 174 exploration leases," the company said.

The U.S. Interior Department said it drew $1.2 billion in bids for acreage off Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi. More than 50 companies submitted around 400 bids for 320 tracts covering more than 1.7 million acres.

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management estimates the offshore acreage could yield 890 million barrels of oil and 3.9 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.

Eni said its U.S. daily production is around 88,000 barrels of oil equivalent. The company said its bids are subject to approval by local authorities. It didn't indicate the value of its bids.

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