U.S. Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt today announced that the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) will offer 77.8 million acres for a region-wide lease sale scheduled for Aug. 21, 2019. The sale would include all available unleased areas in federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico.
Lease Sale 253, scheduled to be live-streamed from New Orleans, would be the fifth offshore sale beneath the 2017-2022 Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Oil and Gasoline Leasing Program. Under this program, a complete of ten region-wide lease sales are scheduled for the Gulf, where useful resource potential and industry interest are high, and oil and gas infrastructure are nicely established. Two Gulf-large lease gross sales are scheduled to be held annually and embrace all accessible blocks within the combined Western, Central, and Eastern Gulf of Mexico Planning Areas.
Lease Sale 253 will embrace roughly 14,585 unleased blocks, positioned from three to 231 miles offshore, within the Gulf’s Western, Central and Eastern planning areas in water depths starting from nine to greater than 11,115 feet. Excluded from the lease sale are blocks topic to the congressional moratorium established by the Gulf of Mexico Power Safety Act of 2006; blocks adjacent to or past the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone within the space known as the northern portion of the Eastern Gap; and complete blocks and partial blocks inside the current boundaries of the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary.
Leases ensuing from this proposed sale would come with stipulations to protect biologically delicate assets, mitigate potential adverse results on protected species, and avoid potential conflicts related to oil and gas development within the area.
Additionally, BOEM has included appropriate fiscal phrases that consider market situations and guarantee taxpayers obtain a good return to be used of the OCS. These phrases embody a 12.5 % royalty charge for leases in less than 200 meters of water depth, and a royalty rate of 18.75 % for all different leases issued pursuant to the sale, in recognition of current hydrocarbon worth circumstances and the marginal nature of remaining Gulf of Mexico shallow water assets.