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News // Crime

Growing Popularity of Online Auctions

14 November 2001 , 08:23596
The convenience of conducting business online has not escaped Dave Dean, a Des Moines, Iowa, energy investor as the logged onto the Oil Auction,com, an Oklahoma City firm specializing in Web based energy auctions.
While vacationing on South Padre Island recently, Dave Dean slipped into a spare room, connected his laptop computer to the Internet and bought a few oil and gas properties
"It's pretty darn convenient when you can be on vacation, do a little fishing and at the same time can participate in one of their auctions," said Dean, a Des Moines, Iowa, energy investor.

Traditionally, live "floor" auctions have been the dominant way to exchange energy properties, such as oil wells or rights to drill a promising site. But face-to-face auctions require time and travel. Participants must journey to energy hubs such as Houston, then spend days poring over information on upcoming property sales.
Moreover, since Sept. 11, many people may be viewing them as more than just convenient. Ken Olive, chief executive the Oil & Gas Asset Clearinghouse in Houston, said Internet sales more than doubled at the company's last auction, a jump he ascribes to the terrorist attacks.
Several regional companies have gotten into the Internet energy auction business in the last two years. The Oil -- despite selling 625 properties over the Internet for $3 million-plus since May 2000 -- is a smaller player in the field.

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