By Jim Allen, Editor, NuVote Reach
Photo Credit:Looking Glass Animations-UK
More than 20 million offshore acres will be put up for lease sale by the US Department of the Interior (DOI), Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) Wednesday which account for all of the remaining unleased areas in the Western Gulf of Mexico Planning Area (WGMPA). The lease sale is being framed as part of an Obama administration effort “to implement a comprehensive, all-of-the-above energy strategy, expanding domestic production, reducing our dependence on foreign oil, and supporting jobs,” said Interior Secretary Ken Salazar in a DOI press release.
It will be held on Wednesday November 28, 2012 at 9:00 AM CDT, at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana and be the first lease sale under the Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program (five-year program) for exploration and development of all offshore areas with the highest conventional resource potential. These areas represent 75 percent of the undiscovered, recoverable offshore oil and gas resources in the US.
The sale will include all available unleased areas in the WGMPA – encompassing 3,873 blocks and covering approximately 20.8 million acres – located from nine to 250 miles offshore, in water depths ranging from 16 to more than 10,975 feet.
“BOEM estimates the proposed lease sale could result in the production of 116 to 200 million barrels of oil and 538 to 938 billion cubic feet of natural gas,” according to a DOI press release.
At the Wednesday sale, BOEM will open 131 bids submitted by 13 companies on 116 offshore blocks.
In December 2011, 181 leases on WGMPA tracts covering 1,036,205 acres were awarded to the successful high bidders – valued at $324,971,001.
In June 2012, 442 leases on Central Gulf of Mexico tracts covering 2,335,646 acres were awarded to the successful high bidders – valued at $1,681,578,390.
The November 2012 Final Notice of Sale information package is available at: http://www.boem.gov/Sale-229/.