The US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) plans to offer 23.8 million acres for oil and gas exploration and development offshore Texas.
The proposed Western Gulf of Mexico Lease Sale 248, which will include all available unleased areas in the Western Gulf of Mexico Planning Area, is a part of the US government’s efforts to boost domestic energy production.
US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management Director Abigail Ross Hopper said: “The Gulf of Mexico continues to be one of the most productive basins in the world and is an important part of our Nation’s domestic energy portfolio.
“This lease sale follows extensive environmental analysis and stakeholder engagement.”
Scheduled to be held on 24 August 2016 in New Orleans, Louisiana, the Western Gulf of Mexico Lease Sale 248 will be the first federal offshore oil and gas auction broadcast live on the internet.
The approach is intended to promote greater government efficiency and transparency.
Hopper added: “Through the use of technology we can deliver our lease sale information in a much more effective and accessible way to a much wider audience.”
The Sale 248 will be the final sale from the administration’s Western Planning Area under the 2012-2017 Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program, and the eleventh offshore sale in the Gulf of Mexico.
Under the sale 248, BOEM will offer about 4,399 offshore blocks located in water depths ranging from 16ft to more than 10,975ft.
According to BOEM estimates, the proposed lease sale would produce 116 to 200 million barrels of oil and 538 to 938 billion cubic feet of natural gas.
In February, the US BOEM said it will offer nearly 45 million acres in the Gulf of Mexico for oil and gas exploration and development in lease sales.
The proposed Central Gulf of Mexico Lease Sale 241 and Eastern Planning Area Lease Sale 226 will be the ninth and tenth offshore sales, respectively, under the US Government's Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program for 2012-2017.
Image: The US government intends to boost domestic energy production. Photo: courtesy of num_skyman/FreeDigitalPhotos.net.