NEW ORLEANS – US Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke has announced that the department is proposing the largest oil and gas lease sale ever held in the US --76,967,935 acres in federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico, offshore Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida.
The proposed region-wide lease sale, offering an area about the size of New Mexico, is scheduled for March 2018 and includes all available unleased areas on the Gulf’s outer continental shelf. This would surpass last year’s region-wide lease sale by about one million acres.
Proposed Lease Sale 250, which will be livestreamed from New Orleans, will be the second offshore sale underthe National Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program for 2017-2022. It includes 14,375 unleased blocks, located from 3 to 230 mi (5 to 320 km) offshore, in the Gulf’s Western, Central and Eastern planning areas in water depths ranging from 9 to more than 11,115 ft (3 to 3,400 m).
“In today’s low-price energy environment, providing the offshore industry access to the maximum amount of opportunities possible is part of our strategy to spur local and regional economic dynamism and job creation and a pillar ofPresident Trump’s plan to make the United States energy dominant,” Secretary Zinke said. “And the economic terms proposed for this sale include a range of incentives to encourage diligent development and ensure a fair return to taxpayers.”