The US Gulf of Mexico region-wide Lease Sale 249 was held on 16 August 2017. It attracted 99 bids from 27 participating companies, with high bids totalling US$121 million. Activity is down by roughly half from the March 2017 Central Lease Sale 247. However, full year activity out performs 2016 by nearly twice. Operators main focus was blocks around existing infrastructure and step-out exploration opportunities.