The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management announced yesterday that it has been directed by Congress to award leases to the highest valid bidders in Gulf of Mexico oil and gas Lease Sale 257, which was held last November.

BOEM has accepted 307 of the highest valid bids, totaling almost $190 million.

A total of 33 companies participated in the lease sale, generating over $191 million in high bids for 308 tracts covering 1.7 million acres in federal waters in the Gulf of Mexico. One bid was rejected for not providing the public with fair market value.

Lease Sale 257 was the eighth offshore sale held under the 2017-2022 National Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program. All terms and conditions for the sale are detailed in the Final Notice of Sale information package, which is available at

"In compliance with congressional direction in the Inflation Reduction Act, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management has accepted 307 highest valid bids from Lease Sale 257 in the Gulf of Mexico, totaling $189,888,271. BOEM originally held the lease sale in November 2021. A federal judge invalidated the results in February of this year," BOEM said in a statement.

"The reinstatement of Lease Sale 257 is essential in keeping energy flowing from the Gulf of Mexico," National Ocean Industries Association (NOIA) President Erik Milito said in a statement after  BOEM announced the reinstatement of Gulf of Mexico Lease Sale 257, in compliance with the Inflation Reduction Act.

"Communities along the Gulf Coast and throughout the country rely upon Gulf of Mexico oil and gas development for good paying jobs, affordable energy supplies, and important funding for local infrastructure needs, coastal restoration and resiliency, and parks and recreation programs," Milito continued. "It had been nearly two years since companies were last able to secure new leases from a region that is recognized as national strategic asset.

"At a time of inflationary energy price impacts and global energy insecurity, the Gulf of Mexico oil and gas sector continues to shine as an economic engine that operates under world class safety standards and produces among the lowest carbon barrels of oil in the world."