U.S. to make available 48 million acres in Central Gulf of Mexico

The U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) will offer more than 48 million acres offshore Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama for oil and gas exploration and development in a lease sale that will include all available unleased areas in the Gulf of Mexico Central Planning Area. 

BOEM said on Thursday that the lease sale comes as part of the Obama Administration’s continued commitment to support safe and responsible domestic energy production.

Bureau’s Director, Abigail Ross Hopper, said: “As one of the most productive basins in the world, the Gulf of Mexico remains an important component of our domestic energy strategy to create jobs, foster economic opportunities, and reduce America’s dependence on foreign oil.”

After BOEM’s first live stream lease sale for acreage offshore Texas in August, the bureau decided to do it again for this lease sale named the Central Gulf of Mexico Lease Sale 247.

Sale 247 includes approximately 9,118 blocks across 48 million acres, located from three to about 230 miles offshore, in water depths ranging from nine to more than 11,115 feet (3 to 3,400 meters).

The lease sale will be held and streamed on March 22, 2017. BOEM said that live streaming enables delivery of bid information immediately to a much broader national and international audience.

This, twelfth and final Gulf of Mexico offshore sale under the Administration’s Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program for 2012-2017 (Five Year Program), builds on the previously held lease sales in the Program.

The previous eleven sales netted more than $3 billion for U.S. taxpayers, in support of the administration’s goal of continuing to increase domestic oil and gas production.

The terms of this sale include conditions to ensure both orderly resource development and protection of the human, marine and coastal environments.