Gulf Of Mexico Lease Sale 181 Scaled Back

Secretary of the Interior Gale Norton proposed a Notice of Sale for oil and natural gas production in a portion of the Outer Continental Shelf, also known as Sale 181. The area in the eastern Gulf of Mexico was first proposed by Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt and President Bill Clinton after negotiations with Florida Governor Lawton Chiles and other coastal governors in 1997.

"We have listened and worked carefully with officials and affected citizens around the 181 lease area. The outcome is a balanced and common sense proposal," said Secretary Norton. "Our modified 181 area has been adjusted from 5.9 million acres to 1.5 million. The adjusted area is at least 100 miles from any portion of the Florida coast. For example, it's northern border is more than 100 miles from Pensacola, Florida and the eastern edge is 285 miles from the shores of Tampa Bay.

"The Department projects the adjusted area contains 1.25 trillion cubic feet of natural gas - enough to serve one million U.S. families for 15 years. The area also contains 185 million barrels of oil - enough to fuel the automobiles of a million families for nearly six years.

Lease Sale 181 in Eastern Gulf of Mexico is 11th sale on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) in the Eastern Gulf of Mexico and will take place in December 2001.