The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) today held Gulf of Mexico Lease Sale 259, which generated approximately $264 million in high bids for 313 tracts covering 1.6 million acres in federal waters of the U.S. Gulf.
Thirty-two companies participated in the lease sale, submitting $310 million in total bids. The lease sale was required by the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 (IRA). The requirement in the IRA was added to secure the support of Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W. Va.
“Lease Sale 259 is an opportunity to strengthen our national security interests and develop domestic energy supplies in the face of geopolitical uncertainty and tight global demand," National Ocean Industries Association (NOIA) President Erik Milito said in a statement. "Lease Sale 259 is the first Gulf of Mexico offshore oil and gas lease sale since November 2021. Mandated by the Inflation Reduction Act, Lease Sale 259 and the resumption of Gulf of Mexico oil and gas lease sales has been needlessly overdue."
Milito said that the "preceding gap in leasing underscores why the next federal offshore oil and gas leasing program must be finalized and implemented as quickly as possible. Policies that restrict domestic offshore development require imports to make up the shortfall, and that supplemental production comes from higher-emitting operations in other countries to the detriment of our energy security, economic wellbeing, and emissions and climate progress.”
Revenues received from offshore oil and gas leases (including high bids, rental payments, and royalty payments) are directed to the U.S. Treasury, certain Gulf Coast states (Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama) and local governments, the Land and Water Conservation Fund and the Historic Preservation Fund.
Lease Sale 259 offered approximately 13,600 unleased blocks, approximately 73 million acres, in the Gulf’s Western, Central and Eastern Planning Areas.
All terms and conditions for Lease Sale 259 are detailed in the Final Notice of Sale information package.