By July 20, 2015 Read More →

Gulf of Mexico: 22 million acres up for off-shore oil and gas development

Western Gulf of Mexico Lease Sale 246 will be held in New Orleans, La. on Aug. 19

The federal government will be selling leases on 22 million acres off-shore Texas in an effort to boost oil and gas production in the Gulf of Mexico.

Gulf of Mexico

NOAA map of the 3,858 oil and gas platforms extant in the Gulf of Mexico in 2006.

Bureau of Ocean Energy Management Director Abigail Ross Hopper announced Monday that the lease sale that will include all available unleased areas in the Western Gulf of Mexico Planning Area.

“As one of the most productive basins in the world, the Gulf of Mexico is critical to the nation’s domestic energy portfolio,” said Hopper.

“This lease sale underscores our commitment to make millions of acres of Federal waters available for safe and responsible exploration and development. “

This will be the eighth off-shore sale under the Administration’s Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program for 2012-2017 (Five Year Program) and builds on the first seven sales that netted nearly $2.9 billion for American taxpayers, the Bureau said in a press release.

Gulf of Mexico

Bureau of Ocean Energy Management Director Abigail Ross Hopper.

Sale 246 will include approximately 4,083 blocks, covering roughly 21.9 million acres, located from nine to 250 nautical miles offshore, in water depths ranging from 16 to more than 10,975 feet (5 to 3,340 meters).

“The Gulf of Mexico is an important part of the Administration’s energy strategy,” said Hopper.

“The region holds vital energy resources that can continue to generate jobs and spur economic opportunities for Gulf producing states, as well as further reduce the Nation’s dependence on foreign oil.”

The decision to hold this sale follows extensive environmental analysis, public comment and consideration of the best scientific information available, according to the Bureau.

The terms of the sale 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.

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