Four people were arrested on Tuesday while protesting an offshore lease auction at a Bureau of Ocean Energy Management office in Louisiana.

According to the AP, four people were arrested at Bureau of Ocean Energy Management in suburban New Orleans while protesting a lease auction scheduled for Wednesday.

About a dozen protesters walked into the office building with a copy of an online petition to end new drilling projects in the Gulf of Mexico.

The protesters hoped the demonstration would attract the attention of President Obama who was visiting Louisiana to survey the damage caused by massive flooding.

According to the AP, a Bureau of Ocean Energy Management staff member who refused to disclose his name or job title accepted the petition and told the protesters the document would be passed “up the chain of command.”

The auction marks the first time the BOEM has broadcast a sale live on the internet.

The sale offered about 23.8 million acres in the western Gulf of Mexico planning area including both shallow and deepwater prospects off the coast of Texas.

Lease sale 248 received 24 bids on 24 tracts with three companies participating in the sale and total bids of about $18 million, according to the BOEM.

The sale was the eleventh sale conducted as part of the agency’s five-year leasing program.


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