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The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has decided to lease about 20.7 million acres in the Western Gulf of Mexico Planning Area, offshore of Texas, for oil and gas exploration and development, after an extensive environmental analysis.

The proposed lease sale 233 is anticipated to produce about 116 million to 200 million barrels of oil and 538 billion to 938 billion cubic feet of natural gas.

The sale offers 3,864 blocks, located from nine to 250 miles offshore, in water depths ranging from 16ft to more than 10,975ft.

The sale, which will take place on 28 August 2013, will be the third sale under the Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program for 2012-17.

It will be the second of five Western Gulf of Mexico lease sales that will be held under the current five-year programme.

Under the terms of the sale, protection of the human, marine and coastal environments are ensured, while deep gas royalty relief will not be offered.

"It will be the second of five Western Gulf of Mexico lease sales that will be held under the current five-year programme."

The ultra-deep gas royalty relief required under Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPAct) will continue to exist.

The bureau already published a final supplemental environmental impact statement to update the environmental analysis completed for proposed lease sale 233 and other Western and Central Gulf of Mexico lease sales, which are part of the current five-year programme.

BOEM is a US agency that promotes energy independence, environmental protection and economic development through science-based management of offshore conventional and renewable energy resources.


Image: Map showing Gulf of Mexico region. Photo courtesy of freedigitalphotos.

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