The US Interior Department (DOI) has announced plans to offer 78 million acres offshore Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida in lease sale for oil and gas exploration and development.
Scheduled to take place in August 2018, the proposed lease sale 251 includes all available unleased areas in federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico.
US Deputy Secretary of the Interior Bernhardt said: “Responsibly developing our offshore energy resources is a major pillar of this Administration’s energy strategy.
“We look forward to this important sale, as the Gulf of Mexico continues to be the crown jewel of the Outer Continental Shelf.
“A strong offshore energy program supports tens of thousands of well-paying jobs and provides the affordable and reliable energy Americans need to heat homes, fuel our cars, and power our economy.”
The proposed lease sale, which will be the third under the National Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program for 2017-2022, includes approximately 14,622 unleased blocks, located from three to 231 miles offshore, in the Gulf’s Western, Central and Eastern planning areas.
The blocks considered for lease sale are located in water depths ranging from nine to more than 11,115ft.
US Counselor to the Secretary for Energy Policy Vincent DeVito said: “Powering America and protecting the offshore environment are not mutually exclusive.
“We can do both. American energy production can be competitive, while remaining safe and environmentally sound. This lease sale is just one piece of the Administration’s comprehensive effort to secure our Nation’s energy future.”
According to the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), the Gulf of Mexico OCS is estimated to hold about 48 billion barrels of undiscovered technically recoverable oil and 141 trillion cubic feet of undiscovered technically recoverable gas.
Earlier this year, the US DOI has announced the results for the lease sale 250 which included 14,474 unleased blocks, located from three to 231 miles offshore, in the Gulf’s Western, Central and Eastern planning areas. The lease sale has yields $124.7m in bids on 815,403 acres.