Gulf of Mexico Lease Sale Set for August
The U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has proposed an August 2019 region-wide oil and gas lease sale for 78 million acres (31.6 million hectares) in all available federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico.
According to an Interior Department announcement Tuesday, Lease Sale 253 will be the fifth of 10 offshore lease sales under the 2017-2022 National Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Oil and Gas Leasing Program. The program calls for holding two GOM lease sales per year during the five-year period and includes all available blocks in the combined Western, Central and Eastern GOM planning areas.
“Offshore oil and gas resources are essential to our nation’s energy portfolio and America’s energy security,” Joe Balash, the Interior Department’s assistant secretary for Land and Minerals Management, said in his department’s written statement Tuesday. “We all benefit from a strong offshore energy program, which provides thousands of well-paid jobs, and affordable, reliable energy that Americans need to heat homes, fuel our cars and power our economy.”
Lease Sale 253, which is scheduled to be livestreamed from New Orleans, will offer approximately 14,699 unleased blocks located from three to 231 miles (4.8 to 372 kilometers) offshore in water depths ranging from nine to more than 11,115 feet (three to 3,400 meters) in all three planning areas, the Interior Department noted. 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
“Domestic offshore oil and gas development is critical for America’s economy and energy portfolio, Acting BOEM Director Walter Cruickshank noted. “BOEM’s staff works hard to help ensure future development is done in a manner that addresses our nation’s energy security, while protecting marine life and the environment in which they live.”
BOEM plans to livestream Lease Sale 252 from New Orleans next week.
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