The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) today announced that Gulf of Mexico Lease Sale 257 generated $191,688,984 in high bids for 308 tracts covering 1.7 million acres in federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico.
Today’s sale was consistent with a U.S. District Court’s preliminary injunction, while the government appeals the decision. The Biden-Harris administration is continuing its comprehensive review of its offshore and onshore oil and gas leasing programs and initiating reforms. Moving forward, BOEM will use updated greenhouse gas emission models to take substitution impacts and foreign oil consumption into account, resulting in the most robust projections ever of the climate impacts of offshore lease sales, as well as analyzing the social cost of carbon to better understand the true impacts of fossil fuel leasing decisions.
A total of 33 companies participated in the lease sale, submitting $198,511,834 in total bids. Leases resulting from this sale will include stipulations to protect biologically sensitive resources, mitigate potential adverse effects on protected species, and avoid potential conflicts associated with oil and gas development in the region.
Revenues received from offshore oil and gas leases (including high bids, rental payments and royalty payments) are directed to the U.S. Treasury, certain Gulf Coast states (Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama) and local governments, the Land and Water Conservation Fund and the Historic Preservation Fund.
Lease Sale 257 offered approximately 15,148 unleased blocks located from three to 231 miles offshore, in the Gulf’s Western, Central and Eastern Planning Areas in water depths ranging from nine to more than 11,115 feet (three to 3,400 meters).
The following areas were excluded from the lease sale: (1) blocks subject to the congressional moratorium established by the Gulf of Mexico Security Act of 2006; (2) blocks that are adjacent to or beyond the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone in the area known as the northern portion of the Eastern Gap; and (3) whole blocks and partial blocks within the boundaries of the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary.
Lease Sale 257 was the eighth offshore sale held under the 2017-2022 National OCS Oil and Gas Leasing Program.
All terms and conditions for Gulf of Mexico Region-wide Sale 257 are detailed in the Final Notice of Sale information package, which is available at http://www.boem.gov/Sale-257.
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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.