As a result of the order issued by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit on Oct. 26, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) is postponing Lease Sale 261.
Gulf of Mexico Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Lease Sale 261 was originally scheduled for Sept. 27, and later scheduled for Nov. 8, 2023, in response to judicial orders. Until the court rules, BOEM cannot be certain of which areas or stipulations may be included in the sale notice.
“Once again, the administration is standing against domestic oil and gas production. The administration is simply choosing to delay this lease sale, which follows in their pattern of opposing new domestic oil and gas lease opportunities," National Ocean Industries Association President Erik Milito said in a statement. "There are zero legal or operational constraints preventing Interior from proceeding with the lease sale pursuant to the October 5th Final Notice of Sale. The delay is especially concerning in light of the geopolitical upheaval and fragility in oil markets due to burgeoning armed conflicts in multiple oil-producing regions."
Potential bidders in Lease Sale 261 should not submit bids until BOEM provides additional instruction. BOEM will hold any bids already received and will hold the sale after it receives further direction from the Court of Appeals.
As information becomes available, it will be posted at: www.boem.gov/sale-261.