Lease Sale 261 is back on again, at least for now.

After legal challenges derailed the offshore oil and gas lease auction in the Gulf of Mexico (GoM) earlier this month, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has rescheduled the sale for the third time on Dec. 20.

BOEM said the sale was rescheduled following a Nov. 14 order by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Firth Circuit. The same court halted the sale, which was originally scheduled for Sept. 27 and then Nov. 8. BOEM postponed the sales each time in response to judicial orders, most recently on Nov. 2.

BOEM said the court directed the lease blocks that were previously excluded due to concerns regarding potential impacts to the Rice’s whale population in the GoM. BOEM will also remove portions of a related stipulation meant to address those potential impacts from the lease terms for any leases that may result from Lease Sale 261.

A final notice of sale will be published in the Federal Register on Nov. 20 and will be available for public inspection on Nov. 17. 

BOEM will livestream the opening of bids at 9 a.m. CT on Dec. 20.