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Chevron reviews court decision that blocked Gulf of Mexico lease sale

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The logo of Chevron Corp is seen in its booth at Gastech, the world's biggest expo for the gas industry, in Chiba
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By Sabrina Valle

HOUSTON (Reuters) - Chevron Corp is reviewing a federal judge decision that invalidated the results of an oil and gas lease sale in the Gulf of Mexico on Thursday, saying the Biden administration failed to properly account for the auction's climate change impact.

"We're disappointed because these lease sales have been conducted successfully in the Gulf of Mexico for decades now," chief executive officer Michael Wirth said on Friday on an analyst call following the company's fourth quarter financial results.

Chevron is one of the largest leaseholders in the Gulf of Mexico, with more than 240 licenses.

The decision has cast uncertainty over the future of the U.S. federal offshore drilling program, which has been a big source of public revenue for decades but also drawn the ire of activists concerned about its impact on the environment and contribution to global warming.

Chevron's Gulf of Mexico assets contribute to the energy security of the U.S., Wirth said. He declined to comment further on the company's legal response.

"Frankly, (those are) some of the lowest carbon intensity barrels that we produce," the CEO said. "So we hope this is resolved in a manner that allows continued development and investment in the United States energy economy."

(Reporting by Sabrina Valle)