The US bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation, and Enforcement (BOEMRE) has scheduled the first oil and natural gas lease sale in the Gulf of Mexico since the Deepwater Horizon blowout and oil spill in April 2010. The date is Dec. 14 in New Orleans and the sale will include all available unleased areas in offshore Texas.
The proposed lease sale includes about 3,900 unleased blocks that encompass approximately 20.6 million acres. Parcels are from nine to 250 miles offshore. BOEMRE estimates that the sale could result in increased production of 222 million to 423 million barrels of oil and 1.49 to 2.65 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.
The bureau has proposed to hike the minimum bid amount for blocks in water depths of 1,312 feet and more to $100 per acre.
US Interior Secretary Ken Salazar commented in a prepared statement: “The sale is an important step toward a secure energy future that includes safe, environmentally sound development of our domestic energy resources.”