MMS Issues Final Notice of Western Gulf Lease Sale 200

The Minerals Management Service (MMS) announced today in the Federal Register the Final Notice of Lease Sale 200 for offshore oil and gas in the Western Gulf of Mexico (GOM). The lease sale is scheduled for August 16, 2006, in New Orleans. Bid reading will begin at 9:00 a.m. in the Acadia Ballroom of the Marriott Hotel at 555 Canal Street, New Orleans, Louisiana.

The lease sale encompasses 3,865 unleased blocks of approximately 20.87 million acres in the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Planning Area offshore Texas and in deeper waters offshore Louisiana. The blocks are located from three to about 210 miles offshore in water depths of eight to more than 3,000 meters. MMS estimates the lease sale could result in the production of between 136 and 262 million barrels of oil and 0.810 to 1.440 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.

Bidders are advised that if the Draft Proposed Oil and Gas Leasing Program for 2007-2012 is implemented in July 2007, as currently formulated, then certain blocks that are in the Garden Banks, Keathley Canyon, and Sigsbee Escarpment map areas will transfer from the Western GOM planning area to the Central GOM planning area. In association with this transfer, Western GOM Sale 200 is expected to be the last Western GOM sale to contain these blocks. After Sale 200, all transferred unleased blocks will not be available for lease again until the Central GOM Sale tentatively planned for March 2008.

The Final Notice of Lease Sale 200 will be posted on the MMS website at In addition, copies of the document are available from the MMS Gulf of Mexico Regional Office, Public Information Unit, 1201 Elmwood Park Boulevard, New Orleans, Louisiana 70123. Telephone (504) 736-2519, toll free 1-800-200-GULF.

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