The federal government received $1.6 billion in its recent drilling lease sale covering the central Gulf of Mexico. The auction is one of the highest grossing in the central Gulf since the start of area-wide leasing, according to Bureau of Ocean Energy Management officials. "It serves as a reminder that the Gulf of Mexico, and, in particular, the deepwater Gulf, will continue to play a major role in future energy development in the country," said BOEM Director Tommy Beaudreau.

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