The US Department of the Interior (DOI) and Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) have announced to offer 78 million acres in the Gulf of Mexico for oil and gas leasing in March 2019.
Excluding eastern Gulf waters currently under a congressional moratorium, the sale would include all available unleased areas in federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico.
DOI deputy secretary David Bernhardt said: “The development of our offshore energy resources is a major pillar of this administration’s energy strategy.
“We all benefit from a strong offshore energy programme, which provides thousands of well-paying jobs, as well as affordable and reliable energy Americans need to heat homes, fuel our cars, and power our economy.”
The Lease Sale 252 will be the fourth offshore sale under the 2017-2022 Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program (2017-2022 OCS Program).
According to this programme, ten regionwide lease sales are scheduled for the Gulf. Two Gulf lease sales will be organised every year and include all available blocks in the combined Western, Central, and Eastern Gulf of Mexico Planning Areas.
Lease Sale 252 will include 14,696 unleased blocks, located from three to 231 miles offshore, in the Gulf’s Western, Central and Eastern planning areas in water depths from nine to more than 11,115ft.
Covering approximately 160 million acres, the Gulf of Mexico OCS is estimated to hold nearly 48 billion barrels of undiscovered technically recoverable oil and 141 trillion cubic feet of undiscovered technically recoverable gas.
The announcement for the latest sale follows a Gulf sale in August, which also offered all 78 million acres in the Gulf.