BOEMRE makes progress toward Western Gulf of Mexico Lease Sale 218

By Phaedra Friend Troy

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE) revealed today that it has completed a draft of the supplemental environmental impact statement (SEIS) for the proposed Western Gulf of Mexico Lease Sale 218.

Made available Tuesday in the Federal Register, the SEIS updates the previously published Gulf of Mexico findings and offers new analyses of the most-recent information from the Deepwater Horizon accident and subsequent oil spill.

“The analyses published in this SEIS will allow us to make objective, science-based decisions about the activities involved in offshore energy exploration, development and production,” said BOEMRE Director Michael R. Bromwich. “The public hearings on the draft SEIS we are announcing today are key steps to obtain public input on the environmental impact of oil and gas operations after Deepwater Horizon.”

Additionally, two public meetings will be held in May to give the public an opportunity to comment on the SEIS.

Although regulators are working to complete the 218 Lease Sale by the end of the year, the BOEMRE website has “2011 or 2012” listed as the scheduled year.

The last oil and gas auction for waters offshore the United States was the Central Gulf of Mexico Lease Sale 213, held on March 17, 2010. With 77 companies bidding for 468 blocks offshore Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama, the lease sale attracted $949 million in high bids.

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