The lease sale 238, a part of US President Barack Obama’s strategy to continue the expansion of domestic energy production, has received $109.95m in high bids for 81 tracts covering 433,823 acres on the US Outer Continental Shelf offshore Texas, US.

US Interior Deputy Secretary Mike Connor said: "This sale underscores the President’s commitment to create jobs and home-grown energy through the safe and responsible exploration and development of offshore energy resources.

"The Gulf of Mexico has been and will continue to be a cornerstone of our domestic energy portfolio, with vital energy resources that spur economic opportunities and further reduce our dependence on foreign oil.

A total of 14 offshore energy firms have submitted 93 bids.

The sale offered 21.6 million acres in the Western Gulf of Mexico planning area, in depths ranging from 16ft to more than 10,975ft, including 4,026 tracts from nine to over 250 miles off the coast.

The lease sale is expected to result in the production of 116 to 200 million barrels of oil and 538 to 938 billion cubic feet of natural gas.

"The Gulf of Mexico is one of the most productive basins in the world, and the Obama Administration’s robust Five Year Program supports a balanced approach that encourages the development of the Gulf’s offshore oil and gas resources, while protecting the human, marine and coastal environments and ensuring a fair return to the American people," Connor added.