NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The government will auction off leases Wednesday on about 20 million acres of ocean bottom available for oil and gas production in the western Gulf of Mexico.

The tracts range from 9 to up to 250 miles offshore.

The last sale of western Gulf lease tracts was in December 2011, yielding accepted bids of more than $324 million.

The lease sale is under auspices of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management and is taking place at the Superdome.

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