The U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) said it will offer more than 78 million acres for oil and gas drilling as part of a regionwide Gulf of Mexico lease sale set for March 18.
Terms include a 12.5% royalty rate for leases in less than 200 meters of water depth and a royalty rate of 18.75% for all other leases issued.
The sale, which will be live streamed from New Orleans, includes all available unleased areas in federal waters. It, however, excludes blocks subject to the congressional moratorium established by the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act of 2006; blocks adjacent to or beyond the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone in the area known as the northern portion of the Eastern Gap; and whole blocks and partial blocks within the current boundaries of the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary, BOEM said in a news release.
“The Gulf of Mexico continues to be one of the most productive basins in the world and is an essential part of our nation’s domestic energy portfolio,” Director of BOEM’s New Orleans office Mike Celata said in the release.
Spanning about 160 million acres, the Gulf of Mexico Outer Continental Shelf is estimated to contain about 48 billion barrels of undiscovered, technically recoverable oil and 141 trillion cubic feet of undiscovered, technically recoverable gas, BOEM said.
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