Gulf of Mexico lease sale yields $156 million in high bids in Central Planning Area

3/24/2016

NEW ORLEANS -- This week's oil and gas lease sales in the Gulf of Mexico garnered $156 million in high bids for 128 tracts covering 693,962 acres in the Central Planning Area of the Outer Continental Shelf offshore Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama.

A total of 30 offshore energy companies submitted 148 bids. The sum of all bids received totaled $179,172,819. No bids were received in the Eastern Planning Area.

“The Gulf remains a critical component of our nation’s energy portfolio and holds important energy resources that spur economic opportunities for Gulf producing states while reducing our dependence on foreign oil,” said Department of the Interior Assistant Secretary for Land and Minerals Management Janice Schneider.

The Department of the Interior's Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) offered nearly 45 million acres covering tracts in the Central and Eastern planning areas of the Gulf of Mexico.

The lease sales build on the first eight sales held under the Obama Administration’s Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program for 2012-2017 that offered more than 60 million acres for development and has garnered, to date, $3 billion in bid revenues and awarded 1,071 leases. The program makes available all offshore areas with the highest resource potential and includes 75% of the nation’s undiscovered, technically recoverable offshore oil and gas resources.

Central Planning Area (CPA) Sale 241 attracted $156,385,610 in high bids on 128 blocks covering 693,962 acres. A total of 30 offshore energy companies participated in submitting 148 bids totaling $179,172,819. The CPA encompasses 8,349 unleased blocks, covering 44.3 million acres, located from three to 230 nautical miles offshore Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama, in water depths ranging from nine to more than 11,115 ft.

Sale 226, the second of two lease sales proposed for the Eastern Planning Area under the current leasing program, encompasses 162 whole or partial unleased blocks covering 595,475 acres in the Eastern Planning Area not subject to congressional moratorium. The blocks are located at least 125 statute miles offshore in water depths ranging from 2,657 ft to 10,213 ft. The area is south of eastern Alabama and western Florida; the nearest point of land is 125 miles northwest in Louisiana.

Though the sale did not receive any bids, continued interest in this area is evidenced by ongoing and planned activity on existing leases from past sales as well as from similar activity on existing leases immediately adjacent to this area within the Gulf's Central Planning Area.

Most of the Eastern Gulf of Mexico Planning Area (EPA) cannot be offered for lease until 2022 as part of the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act of 2006.

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