The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) will offer 40 million acres offshore Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama for oil and gas exploration and development in a pair of sales that will include all available unleased areas in the Central and Eastern Gulf of Mexico Planning Areas.
Proposed Gulf of Mexico Central Planning Area (CPA) Lease Sale 241 and Eastern Planning Area (EPA) Lease Sale 226 are scheduled to take place in New Orleans in March 2016. They will mark the ninth and tenth lease offershore sales under the Obama administration's five-year Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program, which runs until 2017.
BOEM's most recent lease sale — held on Aug. 19 for parcels in the Western Gulf — met with a lackluster response, netting only $22.7 million in bids on 33 blocks of more than 4,000 offered. It was the smallest such sale of parcels in the Western Gulf since the federal government began regional sales in 1983. Low commodity prices and market uncertainty contributed to the decline.
Proposed CPA Sale 241 will include approximately 7,919 blocks, covering 42.1 million acres, located from three to 230 nautical miles offshore, in water depths ranging from nine to 11,000 feet. BOEM estimates the proposed lease sale could result in the production of 460 to 894 million barrels of oil and 1.9 to 3.9 trillion cu. ft. of natural gas. Visit the BOEM website for more information on proposed CPA Sale 241.
Proposed EPA Sale 226 will offer approximately 175 blocks, covering 595,475 acres. The blocks are located at least 125 statute miles offshore in water depths ranging from 2,657 feet to 10,213 feet. BOEM estimates the proposed lease sale could result in the production of 71 million barrels of oil and 162 billion cu. ft. of natural gas. Visit the BOEM website for more information on proposed EPA Sale 226.