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Per the New York Times, "Exxon Mobil and other oil companies opened their wallets at an offshore oil auction in Brazil on Thursday in a sign that the industry was stepping back into the deepwater drilling business."
One reason it matters: The auction comes just a week after a big Interior Department lease sale in the Gulf of Mexico brought in just $125 million in total winning bids.
- The contrast shows how, despite the Interior Department's promotion of drilling on U.S. public lands and waters, companies have a wealth of other attractive options like offshore Brazil and onshore shale plays that are largely on state and private lands in Texas and elsewhere.
What happened: The oil giant and its partners offered eight winning bids totaling 640,000 acres, including one bid of $848 million. BP, Shell and Chevron were among the other companies snapping up acreage, and Reuters reports that the sale netted Brazil's government $2.4 billion.