NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

The Role of Information in U.S. Offshore Oil and Gas Lease Auctions

Robert H. Porter

NBER Working Paper No. 4185
Issued in October 1992
NBER Program(s):   IO

This paper describes the U.S. offshore oil and gas lease sales, conducted by the Department of the Interior since 1954. Several decision problems are discussed, including bidding for leases, the government's decision whether to accept the highest bid, the incidence and timing of exploratory drilling, and the formation of bidding consortia. It is argued that equilibrium models that emphasize informational and strategic issues, and that account for institutional features of the leasing program, provide accurate predictions of outcomes.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w4185

Published: Econometrica, January 1995,vol. 63, No. 1, pp. 1-27. citation courtesy of

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