The Department of the Interior and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management announced this week that a lease sale offering all unleased areas of offshore Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama will be held on March 20 at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans. Here are the details.
* The Central Gulf of Mexico Lease Sale 227 will feature 38.6 million offshore acres that could lead to the production of nearly 1 billion barrels of oil and almost 4 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, the Interior Dept. reported.
* The 7,299 blocks available for lease are located from three to about 230 miles offshore, in water depths ranging from nine to more than 11,115 feet.
* According to the department, the lease sale will be the second under the Obama administration's new five-year Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program for 2012-2017. It will be the first of five Central Gulf of Mexico lease sales that are scheduled under the program.
* Interior Secretary Ken Salazar stated that the lease sale was an example of the administration's commitment "to developing our domestic energy resources to create jobs, foster economic opportunities, and to reduce America's dependence on foreign oil."
* According to a June press release from the Department of the Interior, the five-year plan will make all areas with the highest known resource potential in the Gulf of Mexico and off the coast of Alaska available for lease through 15 scheduled lease sales.
* The 15 sales will occur within the six planning areas, including the western and central Gulf of Mexico, a portion of the eastern Gulf of Mexico not currently under congressional moratorium, and the Chukchi Sea, Beaufort Sea and Cook Inlet Planning Areas of offshore Alaska, the department reported.
* The Central and Western Gulf of Mexico Planning areas have abundant proven and estimated oil and gas resources as well as broad industry interest and a mature infrastructure, the department stated.
* The plan makes offshore areas containing more than 75 percent of the technically recoverable offshore oil and gas resources available for exploration and development.
* "This sale is another important step to promote responsible domestic energy production through the safe, environmentally sound exploration and development of the nation's offshore oil and gas resources," said Bureau of Ocean Energy Management Director Tommy Beaudreau this week. He went on to say that the central Gulf of Mexico "is one of the bedrocks" of the country's energy portfolio.
- Nature & Environment
- Department of the Interior
- Gulf of Mexico