BOEM schedules next Gulf of Mexico lease sale

Sept. 30, 2021
Lease Sale 257 will be held on Wednesday, Nov. 17, 2021.

Offshore staff

NEW ORLEANS – The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) will hold an oil and gas lease sale for the Gulf of Mexico on Wednesday, Nov. 17, 2021, in compliance with an order from a US District Court.

Lease Sale 257, scheduled to be livestreamed from New Orleans, will be the eighth offshore sale under the 2017-2022 Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program.

It will include about 15,135 unleased blocks located from 3 to 231 mi (5 to 372 km) offshore in the Gulf of Mexico with water depths ranging from 9 to more than 11,115 ft (3 to 3,400 m).

Fiscal terms include a 12.5% royalty rate for leases in less than 656 ft (200 m) of water depth and a royalty rate of 18.75% for all other leases issued pursuant to the sale.

BOEM said it will only accept bids by mail.

National Ocean Industries Association President Erik Milito welcomed the announcement.

“The advancement of Gulf of Mexico Lease Sale 257 is welcome news for the American worker and our national security. Continued safe and environmentally responsible Gulf of Mexico energy development can promote many of the top priorities of the Biden administration,” he said.

Milito continued: “The US Gulf of Mexico supports more than 345,000 jobs, many of which are accessible, high-paying and cannot be easily substituted, and generates vital government revenues for conservation and recreation programs, including ones in economically distressed urban areas. Furthermore, as global energy prices rise, continued Gulf of Mexico leasing can help avert inflationary risks and proactively ensure affordable energy for all walks of life, especially low-income communities.”

He added: “Importantly, offshore federal oil and gas leasing supports climate progress. The US offshore produces among the lowest carbon barrels of the oil producing regions. We provide a low carbon energy alternative to oil produced by foreign, higher emitting producers, like Russia and China. As long as Americans depend upon oil and gas for modern life, our policymakers should always choose safe, low emissions American energy.”

In an email to Offshore, former BSEE director Scott Angelle said: “Needless delays caused pain at the pump. It’s not too late to bring some common sense into our domestic energy policy by unleashing the innovation, dedication, and perspiration of the USA energy worker. Continuation of competitive leasing is a must for a balanced policy that relies on the know-how of dedicated USA energy workers.”

He continued: “Continuing competitive leasing and relying on domestic energy production is the best path to lowering carbon emissions and reducing pain at the pump. A 2016 Bureau of Ocean Energy Management report, produced under the Obama-Biden administration, found emissions would increase without new Gulf lease sales because foreign-produced oil would take its place, and ‘the production and transport of that foreign oil would emit more’ greenhouse gases.”