BOEM Postpones Oil and Gas Lease Sale 261

© Lukasz Z / Adobe Stock
© Lukasz Z / Adobe Stock

The U.S. Interior Department's Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) said on Tuesday it will postpone its next sale of oil leases in the Gulf of Mexico.

The agency said it will not hold Lease Sale 261 on September 27, 2023, as originally planned as a result of last week's ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit ordering an expansion of acreage being offered after BOEM earlier reduced the area in an effort to protect an endangered whale species.

"The order allows time for a more orderly lease sale process," BOEM said.

BOEM said it will include lease blocks that were previously excluded due to concerns regarding potential impacts to the Rice’s whale distribution in the Gulf of Mexico. BOEM added it will also remove portions of a related stipulation meant to address potential impacts to Rice’s whale from the lease terms for the leases that may be issued as a result of Lease Sale 261. 

BOEM said it plans to hold Lease Sale 261 no later than November 8, 2023, to comply with the Appeals Court ruling. A revised Final Notice of Sale will be issued in the coming days.

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