Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) Director Abigail Ross Hopper has announced that the bureau will offer approximately 47 million acres offshore Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama for oil and gas exploration and development in a lease sale that will include all available unleased areas in the Central Planning Area (CPA).
Proposed Central Gulf of Mexico Lease Sale 247, scheduled to take place in New Orleans in March of 2017, will be the twelfth offshore sale under the Administration’s Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program for 2012-2017 (Five Year Program). This sale builds on eleven sales, already held in the current Five Year Program, that have netted more than $3 billion, and supports the Administration’s goal of continuing to increase domestic oil and gas production.
“As one of the most productive basins in the world, the Gulf of Mexico remains a critical component of the Administration’s domestic energy strategy to create jobs, foster economic opportunities, and reduce America’s dependence on foreign oil,” Hopper said. “The exploration and development of the Gulf of Mexico’s vital energy resources will continue to help power our nation and drive our economy.”
Sale 247 will include approximately 8,878 blocks, located from three to about 230 miles offshore, in water depths ranging from 9 to more than 11,115 feet (3 to 3,400 meters).
“The decision to move forward with plans for this lease sale follows extensive environmental analysis, public comment and consideration of the best scientific information available,” said Hopper. “This proposed sale is another important step to promote responsible domestic energy production through the safe, environmentally sound exploration and development of the Nation’s offshore energy resources.”
The proposed terms of this sale include conditions to ensure both orderly resource development and protection of the human, marine and coastal environments. These include stipulations to protect biologically sensitive resources, mitigate potential adverse effects on protected species and avoid potential conflicts associated with oil and gas development in the region. BOEM’s proposed economic terms include a range of incentives to encourage diligent development and ensure a fair return to taxpayers. The terms and conditions outlined for Sale 247 in the Proposed Notice of Sale are not final. Different terms and conditions may be employed in the Final Notice of Sale, which will be published at least 30 days before the sale.
All terms and conditions for Central Sale 247 are detailed in the Proposed Notice of Sale information package, which is available here. Copies of the PNOS maps can be requested from the Gulf of Mexico Region’s Public Information Unit at 1201 Elmwood Park Boulevard, New Orleans, LA 70123, or at 800-200-GULF (4853).
The Notice of Availability of the Proposed Notice of Sale will be available tomorrow for inspection in the Federal Register here and will be published in the September 16, 2016 Federal Register.