The Department of the Interior's Bureau of Ocean Energy Management announced that its Western Gulf of Mexico Oil and Gas Lease Sale 218, held in New Orleans, attracted $337,688,341in high bids and included 20 companies submitting 241 bids on 191 tracts comprising over a million acres offshore Texas. The sum of all bids received totaled $712,725,998. This announcement is consistent with steps President Obama announced in May 2011 to expand domestic oil and gas production safely and responsibly.