As a result of the order issued by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit last week, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has rescheduled Lease Sale 261 for Dec. 20, 2023.

The Gulf of Mexico oil and gas lease sale was originally scheduled for Sept. 27, and later scheduled for Nov. 8, in response to judicial orders.

The court has instructed BOEM to include lease blocks that were previously excluded due to concerns regarding potential impacts to the Rice’s whale population in the Gulf of Mexico. BOEM will also remove portions of a related stipulation meant to address those potential impacts from the lease terms for any leases that may result from Lease Sale 261.

A Final Notice of Sale was published in the Federal Register on Nov. 20, and was made available for public inspection on Nov. 17. 

BOEM will live stream the opening of bids at 9 am CDT on Dec. 20. All terms and conditions of the lease sale are listed in the FNOS. For more information, go to: