8:29am

Tue March 17, 2009
Top Stories

Financial World Eyes Gulf of Mexico

New Orleans – (AP) - There will be a major indication Tuesday of whether the falloff of oil and natural gas prices is stifling interest in exploration and production.
The federal Minerals Management Service releases pre-sale figures for Wednesday's auction of offshore leases in the central Gulf of Mexico, one of the nation's most prominent energy-producing regions.
In recent years, low spot prices - such as those now dominating
markets - have not had as much effect on the sale.
Analysts say that with drilling in the deepwater of the Gulf of
Mexico and with the hunt on for deep gas deposits close to shore,
more and more long-term planning and price projection is the rule.
The annual sale will be held in New Orleans.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)