|Minerals Service Had a Mandate to Produce Results|
|Saturday, 07 August 2010 00:00|
By Jason DeParle - New York Times
On March 5, 1997, an obscure federal official with a puckish grin entered a hotel ballroom here and greeted 1,000 jittery oilmen on what would prove a landmark day. For years, fading interest in the Gulf of Mexico had punished the local economy and left Louisiana to mourn its “Dead Sea.” Now, rising oil prices and new technology were setting off the deep-water version of a gold rush. Interest in drilling ran so high that the official, Chris Oynes, was heading into the annual lease auction with a record number of sealed bids.
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