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The latest Bureau of Land Management lease sale, in New Mexico, could see an influx of investor interest in U.S. energy, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke told Fox News, saying the United States has already become the largest oil and gas producer in the world.
The country, however, has the potential to ramp up its oil production to as much as 14 million bpd.
“We have an offshore lease in the East Coast. We are looking at the largest offshore lease,” Zinke said. “Basically I don’t ever want to be held hostage by a foreign entity over energy needs. I don’t want to send your kids or my kids on foreign shores to fight for energy and environmentally, it is best to produce energy in this country under reasonable regulation than watching it produced overseas with no regulation.”
The latest lease sale in New Mexico generated commitments of almost US$1 billion—a record-breaking amount, according to the BLM. The lease sale will provide a further boost to already growing oil production in the state. Last year, New Mexico produced 171 million barrels of crude, another record-breaker. This year, as of May, the state’s oil production had hit 87.5 million barrels.
The Bureau of Land Management has scheduled another four oil and gas lease sales until the end of this year. The first, to take place this week, will offer acreage in Wyoming and the eastern states; the second, which will offer acreage in Alaska, has yet to get a date; the third, for oil and gas blocks in Colorado and New Mexico, will take place in the week beginning December 3. The last lease sale for this year will offer acreage in Nevada, Montana, Utah, Wyoming, and the eastern states, to take place in the week beginning December 10.
By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com
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Irina is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing on the oil and gas industry.