Lots of natural resources news in America this week, with big opportunities opening in mining and energy in several spots across the country.
The highest-profile happening was a new offshore petroleum lease sale — announced last Tuesday by the Department of Interior. It will make available the largest swath of drilling acreage ever seen in such a bid round.
The Department of Interior said that Lease Sale 250 — scheduled for March 2018 — will offer 76,967,935 acres in federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico, offshore Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida. Making it the largest area ever included for bidding in the history of the U.S. industry.
All told, a full 14,375 blocks will be made available — including shallow- and deep-water projects. This makes this sale a key gauge of ongoing interest in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, which has been one of the world’s most active offshore plays the last few decades.
And the opportunities in U.S. resources don’t stop there.
Big openings are also coming in the state of Utah. Where local senator Orrin Hatch said Friday that the federal government will be making more land available — by reducing the size of two national monuments created under the Obama administration.
Officials didn’t give details on the exact size of the planned reductions — which will affect Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante monuments. But the change should make prime acreage available for gold exploration and mining, which has recently pushed into Utah from prolific plays in next-door Nevada. Related: 3 Potential OPEC Deal Killers
The move will also make more ground available for development of emerging shale plays like the Mancos — which has showed promise in nearby New Mexico.
As a final note on the American resource resurgence, the state of Wisconsin is also looking to get in on the act. With legislators set to vote today to repeal a ban on sulfide mining that’s been in effect since 1998.
With Wisconsin holding proven reserves of copper, zinc and gold that could set up a mining revival like we’re seeing in states such as Minnesota. Where state governor Mark Dayton publicly came out in support of new mining projects last week.
Watch for results of the Wisconsin vote this week, and for more details on exact areas of Utah to be made available over the coming months. And for more resource opportunities coming in all parts of the rapidly-opening climes of America.
Here’s to a resource great.
By Dave Forest
More Top Reads From Oilprice.com: