The lease sale, which will include all available unleased areas in the Central Gulf of Mexico Planning Area, is a part of US President Obama’s energy strategy to continue to expand safe and responsible domestic energy production.

Expected to begin in March of 2015, the proposed Central Gulf of Mexico Lease Sale 235 will be the seventh offshore sale under the Administration’s Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program for 2012-2017 (Five Year Program).

US BOEM acting director Walter Cruickshank said: "As one of the most productive basins in the world, the Gulf of Mexico is a cornerstone of our domestic energy portfolio, offering vital oil and gas resources that further economic growth and continue to reduce our dependence on foreign oil.

"This lease sale is another important step in promoting responsible domestic energy production through the safe, environmentally sound development of the Nation’s offshore energy resources, while ensuring a fair return to the American people."

The Sale 235 will include approximately 7,477 blocks which cover 43.5 million acres from three to 230 nautical miles offshore, in water depths ranging from nine to more than 11,00ft.

The proposed lease sale is expected to result in the production of 460 to 894 million barrels of oil and 1.9 to 3.9 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.

The US BOEM is planning to offer blocks located, or partially located, within the three statute mile US – Mexico Boundary Area and is subject to the US-Mexico Transboundary Hydrocarbon Agreement terms.