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Offshore Drillers Show Modest Interest In Expanding Gulf Projects In Largest-Ever Lease Sale

The sale comes amid the Trump Administration’s push to expand drilling in federal waters.

Oil and gas drillers showed a modest interest in growing their projects in the nation's largest-ever Gulf of Mexico lease sale on Wednesday.

The sale comes amid the Trump Administration's push to expand drilling in federal waters. As part of the president's energy agenda, the sale offered companies the chance to drill in more parts of the Gulf than ever before.

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke had said it would be a "bellwether" for the industry's interest in offshore oil for the next decade.

The sale only brought in about $4 million more in high bids than a similar one last year.

“I cannot imagine the administration being super ecstatic about this lease sale,” said energy analyst Imran Khan with the firm Wood Mackenzie.

The growth in U.S. oil is being driven mostly by onshore drilling, which analysts say is generally cheaper and less risky. Still, Gulf oil production is at an all-time high despite low prices, and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management expects it will keep growing for at least the next six years.

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