The US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has decided to offer more than 21 million acres offshore Texas for oil and gas exploration and development in a lease sale featuring all available unleased areas in the Western Gulf of Mexico planning area.
The move is part of US President Barack Obama’s all-of-the-above energy strategy.
Western Gulf of Mexico Lease Sale 238 is scheduled to be held in New Orleans, Louisiana, on 20 August 2014.
Sale 238 will feature 4,026 blocks, covering approximately 21.6 million acres, located from nine to 250 miles offshore, in water depths ranging from 5m to 3,346m.
The proposed lease sale is expected to produce 116 million to 200 million barrels of oil and 538 billion to 938 billion cubic feet of natural gas.
As per the plans, BOEM will provide blocks situated, or partially located, within the three statute mile US/Mexico Boundary Area.
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The blocks within the former Western Gap that are located within 1.4nm north of the Continental Shelf Boundary between the US and Mexico will also be available.
Sale 238 will be the sixth offshore sale under the government’s Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program for 2012-17.
BOEM acting director Walter Cruickshank said: "As one of the most productive basins in the world, the Gulf of Mexico is a critical component of the nation’s domestic energy portfolio.
"This lease sale underscores our commitment to make millions of acres of Federal waters available for safe and responsible exploration and development.
"The decision to move forward with this lease sale follows extensive environmental analysis, public input and consideration of the best scientific information available."