Feds to livestream Gulf oil and gas lease sale

Five months after protesters disrupted an oil and gas lease sale for tracts in the Gulf of Mexico, the government is livestreaming a sale while closing the site in New Orleans where bids are read.

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Spokeswoman Caryl Fagot (fuh-GOH) says the demonstration in March contributed to the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management's decision to close the site while livestreaming Wednesday's sale.

But she says it's not the only reason. The bureau has been holding its lease renewals entirely online for several years, and has been looking at livestreaming for a while, to broaden the audience.

Wednesday's sale will offer 23.5 million acres off of Texas.

Last year's sale was the smallest ever for that area. Five companies bid on 33 tracts for a total of $22.7 million in high bids. Each tract drew one bid.