Interior to lease remaining 38m acres for drilling in central Gulf
WASHINGTON – As part of what they call President Obama’s “all-of-the-above energy strategy to continue to expand safe and responsible domestic energy production,” Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar and Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) Director Tommy P. Beaudreau announced this week that Central Gulf of Mexico Lease Sale 227 will offer 38.6 million acres offshore Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama for oil and gas exploration and development. The lease sale could lead to the production of nearly one billion barrels of oil and almost 4 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, according to a press release.
The sale, which will be held at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans on March 20, 2013, includes all unleased areas in the Central Gulf of Mexico Planning Area. It will be the second sale under the Administration’s new Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program for 2012-2017, and the first of five Central Gulf of Mexico lease sales that will be held under the program.
“The Obama Administration is fully committed to developing our domestic energy resources to create jobs, foster economic opportunities, and reduce America’s dependence on foreign oil,” Secretary Salazar said in a statement. “Exploration and development of the Gulf of Mexico’s vital energy resources will continue to help power our nation and drive our economy.”
Announced in June 2012, the Five Year Program makes offshore areas that contain more than 75 percent of the technically recoverable offshore oil and gas resources available for exploration and development. This is consistent with President Obama’s commitment, a release said, to continue to expand domestic energy production and reduce America’s dependence on foreign oil.
Lease Sale 227 encompasses 7,299 blocks located from three to about 230 miles offshore, in water depths ranging from nine to more than 11,115 feet (three to 3,400 meters). BOEM estimates the lease sale could result in the production of 0.46 billion to 0.89 billion barrels of oil, and 1.9 trillion cubic feet to 3.9 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.
Terms and conditions for the sale are available at: http://www.boem.gov/sale-227. The Notice of Availability of the Final Notice of Sale can be viewed today in the Federal Register at: https://www.federalregister.gov/public-inspection. Copies can also be requested from the Gulf of Mexico Region’s Public Information Office at 1201 Elmwood Park Boulevard, New Orleans, LA 70123, or at 800-200-GULF (4853).