The US Department of the Interior's Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) plans to offer about 78 million acres in a region-wide Gulf of Mexico lease sale scheduled for March 2020.
Lease Sale 254, which would include all unleased areas in federal waters in the gulf that are not subject to congressional moratorium, will be the sixth held under the 2017-22 federal OCS leasing program, BOEM said in a press statement.
The sale would include all available unleased areas in federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico that are not subject to Congressional moratorium.
“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 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."
The Gulf of Mexico Outer Continental Shelf (OCS), covering about 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 natural gas.
"BOEM’s mission is to oversee leasing of OCS energy and mineral resources in an environmentally and economically responsible way," said 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.”
Revenues received from OCS leases (including high bids, rental payments and royalty payments) are directed to the U.S. Treasury, certain Gulf Coast states (Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama), the Land and Water Conservation Fund, and the Historic Preservation Fund.