Bureau Pulls GOM Lease Sale on Biden Order
The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has announced that it is rescinding the record of decision (ROD) for the Gulf of Mexico (GOM) Oil and Gas Lease Sale 257.
The decision, which BOEM noted has been made in response to U.S. President Joe Biden’s Executive Order 14008, pauses planning for the proposed sale, which was expected to occur this March. Biden’s order, which was signed on January 27, directs the secretary of the interior to pause new oil and gas leasing on public lands and offshore waters pending completion of a comprehensive review of federal oil and gas activities. BOEM said a federal register notice formally rescinding the ROD “is forthcoming”.
Back in November, BOEM proposed to offer approximately 78.2 million acres for Lease Sale 257. The lease sale would have been the eighth offshore sale under the 2017 - 2022 Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program and would have included approximately 14,594 unleased blocks.
Lease Sale 256 in the GOM generated $120,868,274 in high bids for 93 tracts covering 517,733 acres in federal waters of the GOM. A total of 23 companies participated in the lease sale, submitting $135,558,336 in total bids. Lease Sale 256 included 14,862 unleased blocks located from three to 231 miles offshore, in the Gulf's western, central and eastern planning areas in water depths ranging from nine to more than 11,115 feet.
The GOM Outer Continental Shelf, which covers around 160 million acres, is estimated to contain about 48 billion barrels of undiscovered technically recoverable oil and 141 trillion cubic feet of undiscovered technically recoverable gas, according to BOEM.
BOEM promotes energy independence, environmental protection, and economic development through responsible, science-based management of outer continental shelf conventional and renewable energy resources, the organization states on its website.
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