A massive U.S. auction of oil and gas leases in the Gulf of Mexico Wednesday garnered lukewarm interest from buyers. President Donald Trump’s administration offered up enough acres for oil and gas drilling in the gulf to cover the state of New Mexico, in what Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke billed as the biggest such sale in U.S. history. But only 1% of the acres offered drew a bid, and the winners paid an average of $153 an acre, some of the lowest prices of the decade. Lease sales have languished for several years, since commodity prices plummeted more than three years ago. The tepid response shows just how difficult it is for the administration to fulfill its promise of helping the energy industry grow at a time of abundant supplies. A boom in shale drilling has helped set the country on course to become the world’s largest oil producer, but it has also sunk prices and lured drillers away from higher-cost wells. – Wall Street Journal

Other contents