US Plans GOM Lease Sale for March 2020
The U.S. Department of the Interior’s Land and Mineral Management and Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) are proposing a regionwide lease sale in March 2020 for 78 million acres in the federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico.
Lease Sale 254 will include about 14,585 unleased blocks, located from three to 231 miles offshore, in the Gulf’s Western, Central and Eastern planning areas in water depths from nine to more than 11,115 feet. The following are excluded from the lease sale:
- Blocks subject to the congressional moratorium established 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 blocks and partial blocks within the current boundaries of the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary
It will be the sixth offshore sale under the 2017-2022 Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program. The program includes 10 regionwide lease sales for the Gulf. Lease Sale 253, which was held Aug. 21, yielded almost $159.4 million in high bids for 151 tracts.
“Offshore energy development is about furthering America’s energy security, ensuring fair market value to the taxpayers and producing domestic energy in an environmentally responsible manner,” said acting assistant secretary for the Department of Land and Minerals Management Casey Hammond. “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.”
Fiscal terms proposed for Lease Sale 254 include a 12.5 percent royalty rate for leases in less than 200 meters of water depth and a royalty rate of 18.75 percent for all other leases issued pursuant to the sale.
“BOEM’s mission is to oversee leasing of OCS energy and mineral resources in an environmentally and economically responsible way," said BOEM acting director Dr. Walter Cruickshank. “Leases resulting from this proposed sale will include stipulations to protect biologically sensitive resources, mitigate potential adverse effects on protected species and avoid potential conflicts associated with oil and gas development in the region.”
To contact the author, email Valerie.Jones@Rigzone.com
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