The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) today held Gulf of Mexico Oil and Gas Lease Sale 261. The sale generated over $382 million in high bids for 311 tracts covering 1.7 million acres in federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico. A total of 26 companies participated in the lease sale, submitting 352 bids totaling about $442 million.
Pursuant to a ruling from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, BOEM included lease blocks that were previously excluded due to potential impacts to the Rice’s whale population from oil and gas activities in the Gulf of Mexico.
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 261 offered 13,482 unleased blocks on 72.7 million acres in the Gulf’s Western, Central and Eastern Planning Areas.