Dec 14, 2011 9:34 PM by Herbie Smith
Wednesday is marked as a big day for the oil industry.
Oil and gas leases are up for grabs.
This is the first time lease sales have been available since the BP spill.
Oil companies can now buy leases for the 21 million acres in the western Gulf of Mexico that are ready for exploration and drilling.
The lease sale took place at the Mercedes Benz Superdome in New Orleans.
There have been no lease sales since April of 2010.
20 companies put in bids, but that's only about a third of the 58 companies bidding in 2009.
Experts say the lease sale is what Louisiana's economy needs.
"It's going to provide jobs,"said Don Briggs with Louisiana Oil and Gas Association.
"The Gulf of Mexico is back. It's very promising, the future is bright," said Chris John with Louisiana Mid-Continent Oil and Gas Association.