The US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) reported on Sept. 11 that it will offer 40 million acres offshore Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama for oil and gas exploration and development in two separate lease sales scheduled for March 2016 in New Orleans.
Proposed Eastern Planning Area Lease Sale 226 will offer 175 blocks covering 595,475 acres in 2,657-10,213 ft of water. The area is bordered by the Central Planning Area boundary on the west and the Military Mission Line on the east, and is south of eastern Alabama and western Florida with the nearest point of land 125 miles northwest in Louisiana. BOEM estimates that Sale 226 could result in the production of 71 million bbl of oil and 162 bcf of natural gas.
Proposed Central Planning Area Lease Sale 241 will offer 7,919 blocks covering 42.1 million acres in 9-11,000 ft of water. The area ranges 3-230 nautical miles offshore. BOEM estimates the proposed sale could result in the production of 460 million-894 million bbl of oil and 1.9-3.9 tcf of gas.
The sales will be the ninth and tenth offshore sales under the Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program for 2012-17. The first eight sales in the current program have offered more than 60 million acres and netted nearly $3 billion.
BOEM also has published the final supplemental environmental impact statement (SEIS) prepared for the sales, updating several previously published environmental reviews covering the gulf and incorporating the latest available scientific information.