The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) is set to hold a Gulf of Mexico-wide lease sale, which is scheduled for 21 August this year, and would include all available unleased areas in federal waters covering a total of 77.8 million acres.
The Lease Sale 253 comes in support of President Donald Trump’s America-First Offshore Energy Strategy.
US Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt said: “The Trump administration is laser focused on developing our domestic offshore oil and gas resources in an environmentally conscious manner, and the Gulf of Mexico is front and center for that development.
“The expansion of America’s energy sector has been a major economic driver for the American people in keeping energy prices low. Our work in the Gulf of Mexico to ensure America leads the world in energy production is paramount.”
Lease Sale 253 will be the fifth offshore sale under the 2017-2022 Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Oil and Gas Leasing Program, which plans a total of ten sales. Two lease sales on the Gulf of Mexico are set to take place every year and include all available blocks in the combined Western, Central, and Eastern Gulf of Mexico Planning Areas.
As part of Lease Sale 253 about 14,585 unleased blocks, located from three to 231 miles offshore, will be offered. The blocks are located in the Gulf’s Western, Central and Eastern planning areas in water depths that range from nine to more than 11,115ft.
Blocks subject to the congressional moratorium established by the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act of 2006 are not part of the lease sale. Other excluded blocks are those next to or beyond the US Exclusive Economic Zone; and whole, partial blocks within the existing boundaries of the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary.
As per BOEM estimates, the upcoming sale contains 48 billion barrels of undiscovered technically recoverable oil and 141 trillion cubic feet of undiscovered technically recoverable gas.