MMS Gearing Up for Western GOM Lease Sale 204

The MMS proposes to hold Western GOM Oil and Gas Lease Sale 204 on Wednesday, August 22, 2007. The location of the auction has yet to be determined. Public bid reading is scheduled to begin at 9:00 am.

Bidders will be required to submit bids to the MMS by 10 a.m. on Tuesday, August 21, 2007, the day before the lease sale. The MMS will specify procedures for bid submission in the Final Notice of Sale 204 (FNOS 204).

Proposed Lease Sale Area:

The MMS proposes to offer for bid in this lease sale all of the unleased acreage in the Western GOM Planning Area except:

Block currently under appeal (although currently unleased, the following block is under appeal and bids will not be accepted. Subsequently, if a determination of this appeal is reached prior to FNOS 204, this block may become available for bidding): High Island (Area TX7) Block 21.

Whole blocks and portions of blocks which lie within the boundaries of the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary at the East and West Flower Garden Banks and Stetson Bank (the following list includes all blocks affected by the Sanctuary boundaries):

High Island, East Addition, South Extension (Area TX7C):

Whole Blocks: A-375, A-398
Portions of Blocks: A-366, A-367, A-374, A-383, A-384, A-385,
A-388, A-389, A-397, A-399, A-401

High Island, South Addition (Area TX7B)

Portions of Blocks: A-502, A-513 Portions of Blocks: 134, 135

Whole blocks and portions which lie within the former Western Gap portion of the 1.4 nautical mile buffer zone north of the continental shelf boundary between the United States and Mexico:

Keathley Canyon (Map Number NG15-05)

Portions of Blocks: 978 through 980

Sigsbee Escarpment (Map Number NG15-08)

Whole Blocks: 11, 57, 103, 148, 149, 194
Portions of Blocks: 12 through 14, 58 through 60, 104 through 106, 150

The MMS plans to publish new official leasing maps and protraction diagrams before the FNOS 204 that will include the newly-defined administrative planning area boundaries implemented in this sale. These new boundaries are depicted on the "Lease Terms and Economic Conditions, Lease Sale 204, Proposed" map.

After the Governors of the affected states (Louisiana and Texas) have had an opportunity to comment on the size, timing, or location of the proposed lease sale, as required by section 19 of the Act, the Assistant Secretary - Land and Minerals Management will make a decision on the FNOS 204. The Department of the Interior reserves the right to revise the areas proposed for bidding and associated terms and conditions described in this proposed notice. If the Assistant Secretary decides to proceed with the lease sale, a final notice for Western GOM Oil and Gas Lease Sale 204 will be published in the Federal Register at least 30 days prior to the date of the public bid reading. An FNOS 204 Package containing all lease sale terms and conditions and detailed instructions to bidders will also be available at that time from the MMS Gulf of Mexico Public Information Unit and on our web site at

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