BOEM Proposes O&G Lease Sale in Gulf of Mexico
As part of President Obama’s all-of-the-above energy strategy to continue to expand safe and responsible domestic energy production, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) Acting Director Walter Cruickshank today announced that the bureau will offer 40 million acres offshore Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama for oil and gas exploration and development in a sale that will include all available unleased areas in the Central Gulf of Mexico Planning Area.
Proposed Central Gulf of Mexico Lease Sale 235, scheduled to take place in New Orleans, Louisiana, in March of 2015, will be the seventh offshore sale under the Administration’s Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program for 2012-2017 (Five Year Program). This sale builds on the first six sales in the current Five Year Program, which have offered more than 60million acres and netted $2.4 billion for American taxpayers.
“As one of the most productive basins in the world, the Gulf of Mexico is a cornerstone of our domestic energy portfolio, offering vital oil and gas resources that further economic growth and continue to reduce our dependence on foreign oil,” Cruickshank said. “This lease sale is another important step in promoting responsible domestic energy production through the safe, environmentally sound development of the Nation’s offshore energy resources, while ensuring a fair return to the American people.”
Sale 235 will include approximately 7,611 blocks, covering 40.5 million acres, located from three to 230nautical miles offshore, in water depths ranging from nine to more than 11,000 feet (three to 3,400 meters). BOEM plans to offer blocks located, or partially located, within the three statute mile U.S. - Mexico Boundary Area subject to the terms of the U.S. - Mexico Transboundary Hydrocarbon Agreement. BOEM estimates the proposed lease sale could result in the production of 460 to 894million barrels of oil and 1.9 to 3.9 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.
BOEM said the sale’s fiscal terms will continue to ensure a fair return to taxpayers, and include conditions to encourage diligent development as well as ensure an appropriate balance of orderly resource development with protection of the human, marine and coastal environments.