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Lease Sales

Dept. of the Interior Raises $539M in Gulf Lease Sale

   Sally Jewell, Secretary of the Interior (Dept. of the Interior photo by Tami Heilemann)

  The U.S. Department of the Interior sold leases on oil and gas properties in the Gulf of Mexico today, receiving $538.7 million in high bids.   The U.S. Department of the Interior's Bureau of Ocean Management (BOEM) took bids for 169 tracts on the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf off Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama, the Bureau announced in a press release. 42 offshore energy companies submitted a total of 195 bids totaling $583 million, meaning most of the tracts had just one bidder.    “The Gulf remains a critical component of our nation’s energy portfolio and holds important energy resources that spur economic opportunities for Gulf producing states, creating jobs and home-grown energy and reducing our dependence on foreign oil,” said Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell, who opened the lease sale.   This is the seventh lease sale held under the Obama Administration’s Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program for 2012-2017. This five year program has offered more than 60 million acres for development, garnered $2.4 billion in bid revenues and awarded 877 leases. The program makes available all offshore areas with the highest resource potential and includes 75 percent of the nation’s undiscovered, technically recoverable offshore oil and gas resources.    Statoil, a Norwegian international oil and gas company, announced that they had won 14 leases in the sale.  

Salazar Announces Western Gulf Lease Sale

Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar announced that the next federal oil and gas lease sale in the Gulf of Mexico will occur in New Orleans on August 18, 2010.  The Secretary made the Western Gulf of Mexico Lease Sale 215 announcement during a tour of Superior Energy Services.  The available blocks in Sale 215 are located from 9 to about 250 miles offshore in water depths of 16 to more than 10,975 feet (5 to 3,346 meters)

Interest Declining In Offshore Acreage Leases

Preliminary results of the latest government sale of offshore oil and natural gas exploration acreage leases in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico show a decline in oil company interest in the properties, officials from the U.S. Mineral Management Service (MMS) said on Tuesday. The latest sale, the Western Gulf Lease Sale 174, received 177 bids from 37 companies on a total of 153 acreage tracts. Bids in the previous sale, held in March, resulted in 272 bids from 67 companies for 207 tracts.

U.S. Invites Industry Interest in Oil and Gas Lease Sale

Washington - The Department of the Interior is seeking input from industry to determine interest in oil and gas exploration off the coast of South-Central Alaska – a key step in the planning process for a potential oil and natural gas lease sale in the Cook Inlet Planning Area. This is the latest step by the Obama Administration toward production in Alaska’s offshore areas, and builds on broader steps to increase production in Alaska.

BOEM Seeks Comments on Environmental Review

Public Hearings Scheduled to provide opportunities for public input.   The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management has completed a draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS), providing updated environmental and socioeconomic analysis to support two proposed lease sales in the Gulf of Mexico. Western Gulf of Mexico Lease Sale 233 is tentatively scheduled for 2013 in the Western Planning Area (WPA), offshore Texas; and Central Gulf of Mexico Lease Sale 231 is scheduled for 2014

US to Sell Offshore Leases for New Jersey Wind Farms

Interior to auction 344,000 acres offshore New Jersey for wind energy development; 13 energy companies qualified to bid in lease sale   As part of President Obama’s Climate Action Plan to develop domestic clean energy resources, cut carbon pollution and create American jobs, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) Director Abigail Ross Hopper announced that 343

MMS Offer Exploration Rights

The Minerals Management Service will offer oil and gas exploration rights next month to 29.7 million acres in the remote Chukchi Sea off northwestern Alaska, according to a Reuters report. The decision to hold the February 6 lease sale, the first in the Chukchi since 1991, comes days before the Fish and Wildlife Service will decide whether to list the polar bear as threatened and has drawn fire from environmentalists seeking to limit oil development in the area

BOEMRE Hearings: Draft EIS for Western GOM

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE) will hold two public hearings in Houston, Tx. to accept oral or written comments on a draft supplemental environmental impact statement (SEIS) for proposed Gulf of Mexico Oil and Gas Lease Sale 218.   The SEIS was prepared to update the analyses done in earlier environmental impact statements and to analyze new information regarding the western Gulf of Mexico planning area.   

US to Open Bids for Gulf of Mexico Lease Sale

The U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) said it is set to conduct a Gulf of Mexico Western Planning Area Lease Sale 246 on Wednesday, August 19 at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans. Doors open at 7:30 and bid reading begins at 9 a.m. CDT.    As part of President Obama’s all-of-the-above energy strategy to continue to expand safe and responsible domestic energy production, Lease Sale 246 is the eighth offshore sale under the Administration’s Outer

Arctic Oil Drilling: Why Does U.S. End It?

Image: An oil drilling rig operated by Royal Dutch Shell ran aground on a pristine wildlife-rich island in Alaska in 2013. Credit: Panda.Org

The Obama administration has taken steps to keep drill rigs out of Alaska's northern ocean for a decade or more. The sudden of turnabouts is attributed to slowing down of economy. The U.S. Department of Interior announced that it is canceling two lease sales and will not extend current leases for companies interested in drilling in the Arctic waters off the Alaska coat.   "The federal government is cancelling federal petroleum lease sales in US Arctic waters that were scheduled

U.S. Cancels Arctic Offshore lease Sale

Secretary Sally Jewell Photo Tami Heilemann Courtesy US Dept of the Interior

  The U.S. Interior Department on Friday said it would cancel two potential Arctic offshore lease sales after Royal Dutch Shell PLC said that it was not interested in those leases. "In light of Shell's announcement, the amount of acreage already under lease and current market

NOIA Response : Cancellation of Alaska OCS Lease Sales

Outer Continental Shelf Image courtesy NOIA

  National Ocean Industries Association (NOIA) President Randall Luthi today issued the following statement regarding the Interior Department’s decision to cancel two offshore Alaska lease sales and deny requests to extend current Alaska offshore leases:

Is Oil Industry Backing Away From Offshore Arctic Drilling ?

Prirazlomnaya platform. Photo: Information Directorate, Gazprom

 The principal difficulty for Arctic offshore drilling right now, according to oil industry think tank, is economic.  The companies may be back for another try at Arctic offshore drilling, in U.S. waters or elsewhere, if economic conditions change, reports AP.  

NJ Offshore Wind Lease Sale Moves Ahead

Offshore Wind Photo TKPL

  As part of President Obama’s comprehensive Climate Action Plan to create American jobs, develop domestic clean energy resources and cut carbon pollution, the Interior Department’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) yesterday held the nation’s fifth competitive lease

Shell Seeks Removal of Activists from Oil Rig

Royal Dutch Shell Plc said it has filed a complaint in federal court in Alaska seeking an order to remove Greenpeace activists who climbed aboard an oil rig in the Pacific Ocean bound for the Arctic on Monday in a protest against Arctic drilling.

US Begins to Formally Review Shell's Arctic Drilling Plan

The U.S. Interior Department said on Friday it has received a plan by Royal Dutch Shell PLC to explore drilling opportunities in the Arctic.   The company's plan envisions "exploration drilling in the shallow waters of the Chukchi Sea Outer Continental Shelf

BOEM Proposes 10 GOM Lease Sales for 2017-2022

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) proposes to conduct 10 oil and gas lease sales in the federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico (GOM), as outlined in the 2017-2022 Draft Proposed Leasing Program.     BOEM published in the April 29, 2015, Federal Register

Shell Awaits U.S. Nod, Pushes Ahead in Arctic

Royal Dutch Shell is pushing ahead with plans to explore for oil in the Arctic Ocean near Alaska this summer despite opposition from environmental groups. The Anglo-Dutch oil major is preparing "an armada of 25 vessels" to begin a two-year programme to explore two to three wells in

Shell Arctic Rig Departs Seattle Surrounded by Protesters

 A Royal Dutch Shell PLC drilling rig that will search for oil in the Arctic pulled out of its temporary base in Seattle on Monday for the trip north to Alaska as dozens of activists in kayaks tried to stop its movement, authorities said.  

Offshore O&G Lease Sale: Continued Interest in Deepwater

Photo: BOEM

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) completed its required evaluation of bids to ensure that the public receives fair market value for tracts leased as part of the Gulf of Mexico Central Planning Area Oil and Gas Lease Sale 235. The sale held on March 18, 2015, made 7

US Senator Introduces Bill to Stop Arctic Drilling

Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley (official portrait)

A piece of legislation aiming to stop offshore Arctic drilling was introduced last week by Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley. The legislation, entitled Stop Arctic Ocean Drilling Act of 2015, would prevent new or renewed leases for the exploration, development or production of oil

BOEM Issues a Notice of Intent to Prepare EIS

As part of its five-year Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program: 2012-2017, BOEM informs it intends to prepare a supplemental environmental impact statement (EIS) for this Program's last proposed Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) oil and gas lease sale in the Central Planning Area (CPA)

NOIA Supports DOI’s Upcoming Offshore Lease Sale

National Ocean Industries Association (NOIA) president Randall Luthi today voiced his support for the U.S. Department of Interior’s (DOI) Western Gulf of Mexico Lease Sale scheduled for next week.   “The call to delay next week’s Department of the Interior Western Gulf of

Oil is Down, Not Out: BOEM Proposes 40-Million-Acre GOM Lease Sale

Despite the continued depressed price of oil and gas, the U.S.  Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) via Director Abigail Ross Hopper announced that BOEM will offer 40 million acres offshore Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama for oil and gas exploration and development in sales that will

Offshore Wind Energy Within Reach for North Carolina


  As part of President Obama’s Climate Action Plan to create American jobs, develop domestic clean energy sources and cut carbon pollution, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) today announced it completed an important environmental review

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