Early on in the March 20 lease sale for blocks in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico (GoM), it was apparent that Royal Dutch Shell Plc would be among the most dominant players vying to land winning bids on some of the more than 14,600 blocks offered.

The Netherlands-headquartered company placed multiple bids, mostly unchallenged, in the East Breaks, Garden Banks, Alaminos Canyon, Mississippi Canyon, De Soto Canyon, Green Canyon, Atwater Valley and Lloyd Ridge. Subsidiary Shell Offshore Inc. ended up placing the most bids of the sale, pledging to pay more than any of the other 29 companies that participated. The company’s 87 apparent high bids totaling $84.8 million made up just over a third of the sale’s overall $244.3 million in high bids, preliminary sale statistics show.

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