Past Five Year Programs

Starfish beneath a PlatformThe Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) resources are, and will remain, key components in the Nation’s overall energy strategy and their development will continue to provide substantial benefits to the U.S. economy and energy security.

The OCS Lands Act (OCSLA) authorizes the Secretary of the Interior to grant mineral leases and to prescribe regulations governing oil and natural gas activities on OCS lands. The OCSLA requires that the Secretary prepare a 5-year program that includes a schedule of oil and gas lease sales and indicates the size, timing and location of proposed leasing activity as determined by the Secretary to best meet national energy needs for the 5-year period following its approval, while addressing a range of economic, environmental and social considerations.

Federal ownership begins three nautical miles off most coastal states. Exceptions are off Texas and the Gulf coast of Florida where the OCS starts at about nine nautical miles. Federal jurisdiction generally ends around 200 nautical miles from the coastline. Revenues from OCS leases consist of bonuses, royalties, rentals and corporate income tax. These revenues are shared with the coastal states, as directed by statute, and the remaining funds deposited in the U.S. Treasury accounts.

The Proposed Final Program establishes a schedule that the USDOI will use as a basis for considering where and when leasing might be appropriate over a 5-year period. A decision to adopt the Proposed Final Program is not a decision to issue specific leases or to authorize any drilling or development.

The strategies in the Five Year Program are intended to allow BOEM to not only address the years 2012-2017, but also lay the groundwork for decisions in subsequent five-year periods. These initiatives include enhancing web technologies to allow stakeholders and other interested parties to more directly participate and engage in the decision-making process. The initiation of key environmental studies and long-term planning have been and will remain critical to ensuring that OCS leasing decisions are made using the most current and relevant information.