The US Department of Interior (DOI) has reported that Gulf of Mexico region-wide oil and gas Lease Sale 251 generated $178m in high bids for 144 tracts covering 801,288 acres in federal waters.
A total of 29 companies submitted $202.6m worth of bids in the lease sale, which involved 14,622 unleased blocks across the Gulf’s Western, Central and Eastern Planning Areas.
These blocks were located 3,231 miles offshore, in water depths ranging from 3m to 3,400m.
However, the oil and gas lease sale did not include blocks subject to the congressional moratorium, those near or beyond the US Exclusive Economic Zone and blocks present in the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary boundaries.
Deputy Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt said: “Today’s lease sale is yet another step our nation has taken to achieve economic security and energy dominance.
“The results from the lease sale will help secure well-paying offshore jobs for rig and platform workers, support staff onshore, and related industry jobs, while generating much-needed revenue to fund everything from conservation to infrastructure.”
Lease Sale 251 is the third offshore sale under the 2017-2022 Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program.
The programme currently has ten region-wide lease sales scheduled for the Gulf of Mexico with high resource potential and industry interest, along with well-established oil and gas infrastructure.
Each year, two lease sales will be held for all available blocks in the Gulf’s combined Western, Central and Eastern Planning Areas.
The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management is set to develop and publish a proposed programme for the new National OCS Program 2019-2024 next year.
Until the approval of the new programme, the 2017-2022 OCS Program will be continued.