BOEM Complying with Court Order Regarding Oil and Gas Lease Sale 261

Release Date
New Orleans, LA

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) is taking steps to comply with an order issued on September 21, 2023, by the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana regarding Gulf of Mexico Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Lease Sale 261.  

Although the United States is seeking an emergency stay of this order to allow time for a more orderly lease sale process, in the event such relief is not granted, Lease Sale 261 will be conducted on September 27, 2023, and in accordance with the court’s order, BOEM will include lease blocks that were previously excluded due to concerns regarding potential impacts to the Rice’s whale distribution in the Gulf of Mexico. BOEM will also remove portions of a related stipulation meant to address potential impacts to Rice’s whale from the lease terms for the leases that may be issued as a result of Lease Sale 261. For more information, see the Notice to Bidders at

BOEM is extending the bid submission period to 3 p.m. CST on September 26, 2023.  For Lease Sale 261 only, bidders may hand deliver bids from 9:00 am – 3:00 pm CST on September 25 and 26, or send via mail. For additional bidding instructions modified as a result of the court’s order, please see our website ( BOEM plans to broadcast the opening of bids for Lease Sale 261 via its website ( on Sept. 27, 2023, at 9 a.m. CST.  

-- BOEM --

The Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) is responsible for America’s offshore energy and mineral resources. The bureau promotes energy independence, environmental protection and economic development through responsible, science-based management of energy and mineral resources on the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf.