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The U.S. Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt and Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) announced Thursday that BOEM proposes to offer 77.8 million acres for a region-wide lease sale. The sale is scheduled for August 21, 2019, and would include all available unleased areas in federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico.
“The Trump administration is laser focused on developing our domestic offshore oil and gas resources in an environmentally conscious manner, and the Gulf of Mexico is front and center for that development,” said Secretary Bernhardt. “The expansion of America’s energy sector has been a major economic driver for the American people in keeping energy prices low. Our work in the Gulf of Mexico to ensure America leads the world in energy production is paramount.”
Lease Sale 253 will include approximately 14,585 unleased blocks, located from three to 231 miles offshore, in the Gulf’s Western, Central and Eastern planning areas in water depths ranging from nine to more than 11,115 feet.
The following areas are excluded from the lease sale: blocks subject to the congressional moratorium established by the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act of 2006; blocks adjacent to or beyond the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone in the area known as the northern portion of the Eastern Gap; and whole blocks and partial blocks within the current boundaries of the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary.
“This lease sale is a critical part of BOEM’s multi-faceted effort to secure our nation’s energy future,” said BOEM Gulf of Mexico Regional Director Mike Celata. “Environmentally responsible exploration and development of the Gulf’s vital energy resources continues to help power our nation and drive our economy.”
Terms include a 12.5% royalty rate for leases in less than 200m of water depth, and a royalty rate of 18.75% for all other leases.
This is the fifth offshore sale under the 2017-2022 Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program. The lease sale will be livestreamed from New Orleans.
By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com
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Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com