U.S. to offer 45 million acres in the Gulf of Mexico for oil and gasStaff writer ▼ | February 19, 2016
Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) Director Abigail Ross Hopper said the bureau will offer approximately 45 million acres for oil and gas exploration and development in the Gulf of Mexico in two March lease sales.
Oil in the U.S. Two March lease sales
The sales will be the ninth and tenth offshore auctions under the Administration's Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program for 2012-2017 (Five Year Program), which makes available areas with the highest-known resource potential for oil and gas leasing.
These lease sales build on the first eight sales in the Five Year Program that offered more than 60 million acres for development and garnered $3 billion in high bids.
Sale 241 encompasses about 8,349 unleased blocks, covering 44.3 million acres, located from three to 230 nautical miles offshore Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama, in water depths ranging from nine to more than 11,115 feet (3 to 3,400 meters).
Sale 226 is the second of two lease sales proposed for the Eastern Planning Area under the current Five Year Program. The sale encompasses 162 whole or partial unleased blocks covering about 595,475 acres in the Eastern Planning Area.
The blocks are located at least 125 statute miles offshore in water depths ranging from 2,657 feet to 10,213 feet (810 to 3,113 meters). The area is south of eastern Alabama and western Florida; the nearest point of land is 125 miles northwest in Louisiana.
Most of the Eastern Gulf of Mexico Planning Area (EPA) cannot be offered for lease until 2022 as part of the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act of 2006. ■