By JANET McCONNAUGHEY
NEW ORLEANS (AP) - ConocoPhillips Co. made $50.3 million in high bids, including the day's highest single bid of $30.5 million, in the second-smallest federal oil lease sale for tracts off the Texas coast since area-wide sales began in 1983.
Twelve companies submitted $102.4 million in high bids on 53 blocks. ConocoPhillips bid on 31.
John Rodi, regional director of the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, says the only previous sale in which a smaller number of western Gulf tracts attracted bids was in 1986 with 41 bids.
He says Wednesday's high bid total value was the seventh-lowest for the area.
ConocoPhillips' bid for a tract in the mile-deep water of Alaminos Canyon block 475 nearly equaled the record low total of 1992, when only $30.6 million in total high bids were submitted.