Five-Year Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Oil and Gas Leasing Program
The Five-Year Program for oil and gas development establishes a schedule of oil and gas lease sales proposed for planning areas of the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf (OCS). The Program specifies the size, timing, and location of potential leasing activity that the Secretary of the Interior determines will best meet national energy needs. Read More...
As required by the OCS Lands Act, a new Program—to cover the years 2017-2022—is under development. The first step in the development process, a Request for Information (RFI), was published in the Federal Register on June 16, 2014, with a 45-day comment period that was extended by 15 days and closed on August 15, 2014. The Draft Proposed Program (DPP) was the first proposal in the staged preparation process of the new Program. The DPP was published on January 29, 2015, with a 60-day comment period that closed on March 30, 2015.
On March 15, 2016, the second proposal, the Proposed Program, was published with a 90-day comment period that closed on June 16, 2016. The Proposed Program schedules 13 potential lease sales in four program areas in all or parts of six OCS Planning areas: 10 sales in the combined Gulf of Mexico (GOM) Program Area, and one sale each in the Chukchi Sea, Beaufort Sea, and Cook Inlet Program Areas offshore Alaska. No lease sales are proposed for the Pacific or Atlantic OCS.
Detailed information about the development of the Environmental Impact Statement for the ten Gulf of Mexico lease sales identified in the 5-yr Program can be found at www.boem.gov/GOM-Multisale-EIS.
The implementation of the 2017-2022 Program may have economic, social, or environmental impacts. In order to evaluate these potential impacts, BOEM has prepared an environmental analysis following the process prescribed by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The Draft Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) includes an analysis of the potential environmental impacts of the activities that may result from the lease sale schedule as identified in the DPP. It also considers a reasonable range of alternatives to the proposed lease sale schedule and identifies potential opportunities for mitigation, both of which may reduce or eliminate potential impacts from the Proposed Action.
The Draft Programmatic EIS examined the activities that may stem from the schedule of lease sales as identified in the DPP. BOEM used the input received during the public scoping process in early 2015 to help focus the scope of the Draft Programmatic EIS analyses on the impacting factors and environmental resources that may result in moderate or major impacts. Based on BOEM expertise and public comment, BOEM also identified alternatives to the Proposed Action that may result in a reduction of impacts compared to the Proposed Action; these alternatives and the analysis of the potential impacts associated with them are presented in the Draft Programmatic EIS, as well.
The release of the Notice of Availability for the Draft Programmatic EIS began the official public comment process. This comment period was specific to the Draft Programmatic EIS and focused on the analysis of potential impacts. More information on the Draft Programmatic EIS is available at www.BOEMOceanInfo.com.
On August 27, 2012, Secretary Ken Salazar gave final approval to the schedule of lease sales set out in the Proposed Final Program (PFP). The 2012-2017 Program was effective on August 27, 2012, and will expire on August 26, 2017. The PFP was the last of three documents that DOI will issue in connection with establishing the new Five-Year Program.