US to offer up new blocks in Central Gulf sale

by on September 24, 2012 5:49 pm BST

Lease Sale 227 is scheduled to take place in New Orleans next year on 20 March. Companies can bid on some 7250 unleased blocks in the Central Gulf of Mexico Planning Area, offshore Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama, ranging from three miles offshore to about 230 miles offshore, in water depths ranging from nine to more than 11,115 feet.

It would be the second sale under President Barack Obama’s Outer Continental Shelf oil and gas leasing programme for 2012-2017 and the first of five annual Central Gulf lease sales, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) said in a statement on Monday.

“The Obama administration is fully committed to developing our domestic energy resources to create jobs, foster economic opportunities, and reduce America’s dependence on foreign oil,” Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said. “We are moving full speed ahead on the president’s all-of-the-above energy strategy because the exploration and development of the Gulf of Mexico’s vital energy resources will continue to help power our nation and drive our economy.”

BOEM said development in the area could ultimately lead to the production of as much as 890 million barrels of oil and 3.9 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.

The proposed sale follows two other Gulf of Mexico lease sales in the last year. Western Gulf Lease Sale 218, held in December last year, received high bids totalling nearly $325 million for about 1 million acres. Central Gulf Lease Sale 216/222, held in June this year, netted more than $1.7 billion in high bids for more than 2.4 million acres.

The next sale, previously announced Western Gulf of Mexico Lease Sale 229, will take place in New Orleans on 28 November.

Click here for proposed terms and conditions for the sale.