BOEM Sets GOM-wide Lease Sale
The U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) on Tuesday unveiled plans to hold a March 2019 region-wide lease sale for all available unleased areas in federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico.
“The development of our offshore energy resources is a major pillar in this Administration’s energy strategy,” Deputy Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt said in a written statement. “We all benefit from a strong offshore energy program, which provides thousands of well-paying jobs as well as affordable and reliable energy Americans need to heat homes, fuel our cars and power our economy.”
According to BOEM, Lease Sale 252 will offer approximately 14,696 unleased blocks in the GOM Western, Central and Eastern planning areas in water depths ranging from nine to more than 11,115 feet (three to 3,400 meters). The agency will livestream the event – the fourth offshore sale under the 2017-2022 Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program – from New Orleans. Acreage up for bid excludes:
- Blocks subject to the congressional moratorium set by the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act of 2006
- Blocks adjacent to or beyond the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone in the area known as the northern portion of the Eastern Gap
- Whole and partial blocks within the current boundaries of the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary
“Developing our nation’s offshore energy resources is essential to our economy and energy security,” stated Walter Cruickshank, acting BOEM director. “BOEM has a vital role to ensure this is done in an environmentally responsible manner.”
BOEM stated that it will continue to implement the 2017-2022 Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Program until the new National OCS Program is approved. In January of this year, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke unveiled a draft National OCS Program that received public comments during the spring. BOEM noted Tuesday that it will develop and publish a proposed program for public comment later this year. In addition, it stated that it anticipates the proposed final National OCS Program in 2019.
Under the current OCS leasing program, fiscal terms include:
- A 12.5-percent royalty rate for leases in less than 200 meters of water depth
- An 18.75-percent royalty rate for all other leases issued in accordance with the sale
For additional information about Lease Sale 252, visit BOEM’s website.
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