U.S. BOEM to Hold First 2021 Offshore Oil and Gas Lease Sale in March

November 17, 2020

For illustration; A Gulf of Mexico Platform - Credit: donvictori0/AdobeStock
For illustration; A Gulf of Mexico Platform - Credit: donvictori0/AdobeStock

Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), a Department of Interior agency responsible for the management of offshore energy leases, has picked March 2021 for the first U.S. Gulf of Mexico lease sale next year.

BOEM will offer 78.2 million acres for a region-wide Gulf of Mexico lease sale, formally named Lease Sale 257.

The offshore lease sale, scheduled to be live-streamed from New Orleans, will be the eighth of ten planned offshore sales under the 2017-2022 Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program. 

The sale will include approximately 14,594 unleased blocks – all of the available unleased areas in federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico, BOEM said Tuesday. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, bids are only being accepted by mail.  

Worth noting, BOEM will on Wednesday, November 18, hold Lease Sale 256. This Lease Sale 256 was delayed from its planned August 2020 date to allow time for additional analysis of oil and gas markets in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Despite circumstances imposed by the coronavirus, we are confident that industry remains interested in acquiring new leases to support their portfolios,” said Mike Celata, Director of BOEM’s Gulf of Mexico Region. “The Gulf of Mexico is a world-class resource area that serves a key role in our nation’s energy security.”

Tomorrow's lease sale will include approximately 14,755 unleased blocks, located from three to 231 miles offshore, in the Gulf’s Western, Central and Eastern planning areas in water depths ranging from nine to more than 11,115 feet (three to 3,400 meters).

According to BOEM, 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 gas.   

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