Oil is big business in our state. The exploration, production, and refinement of petroleum and natural gas affects just about every job and every business in our part of the world. Currently prices for oil are low and that means that most companies in the oil industry are proceeding with caution in every investment they  make.

Caution was certainly the watch word at the most recent oil tract lease sale held in New Orleans. There were 33 leases that were up for bid and only five companies that had a bidding interest. This is the smallest lease sale in the Gulf off Texas in the past 33 years.

The last least sale in the same region of the Gulf brought in over $100 million. This past Wednesday's sale only generated $23 million. Louisiana Oil and Gas Association President Don Briggs told the Louisiana Radio Network that companies are simply  being cautious.

Because of the low oil prices that we're facing and the overall shape of the industry in the world right now

With crude prices in the $40 per barrel range the interest in the Gulf of Mexico is not nearly as great as it was not too long ago. However, the fact that companies were still interested in securing leases in the area shows there are still opportunities available in the area. Of course those opportunities will more than like present themselves when the price of oil returns to a more profitable price.