Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act (GOMESA)

The Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act of 2006 (Pub. Law 109-432)  provides significant revenue sharing in the Gulf of Mexico (GOM). Currently, the Act:

  • shares leasing revenues with Gulf producing states and the Land & Water Conservation Fund for coastal restoration projects;
  • bans oil and gas leasing within 125 miles off the Florida coastline in the Eastern Planning Area, and a portion of the Central Planning Area, until 2022; and,
  • mandates leasing of 8.3 million acres in the Central and Eastern Gulf of Mexico Planning areas

Revenue Sharing

The act created revenue sharing provisions for the four Gulf oil and gas producing states (Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas) and their coastal political subdivisions (CPS’s). GOMESA funds are to be used for coastal conservation, restoration and hurricane protection. There are two phases of GOMESA revenue sharing:

  • Phase I: Beginning in Fiscal Year 2007, 37.5 percent of all qualified OCS revenues, including bonus bids, rentals and production royalty, will be shared among the four States and their CPS’s from those new leases issued in the 181 Area in the Eastern planning area (also known as the 224 Sale Area) and the 181 South Area. Additionally, 12.5 percent of qualified OCS revenues are allocated to the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF). The final regulations for Phase I revenue sharing  were issued on December 23, 2008 and specify that the Bureau intends to disburse funds on or before March 31st of the fiscal year following the fiscal year to which the qualified OCS revenues were attributed.
  • Phase II: The second phase of GOMESA revenue sharing began in Fiscal Year 2017. It expands the definition of qualified OCS revenues to include receipts from GOM leases issued either after December 20, 2006, in the 181 Call Area, or, in 2002–2007 GOM Planning Areas subject to withdrawal or moratoria restrictions.

    A revenue sharing cap of $500 million per year for the four Gulf producing States, their CPS’s and the LWCF applies from fiscal years 2016 through 2055. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, passed in 2017, increased the cap to $650 million in FY20 and FY21.  The sharing cap does not apply to qualified revenues generated in those areas associated with Phase I of the GOMESA program.

    The final regulations to implement Phase II of the GOMESA legislation were published in the Federal Register on December 30, 2015.

Extended Moratorium

  • Although the GOMESA moratorium has expired, this area was additionally withdrawn from leasing through June 30, 2032, by the Trump Administration, using authority under Section 12(a) of the OCSLA (43 U.S.C. §1341(a)).
  • The GOMESA Moratorium covers a portion of the Central Gulf of Mexico Planning Area (CPA), and, until 2022, most of the Eastern Gulf of Mexico Planning Area (EPA). The specific locations restricted from leasing activities include that portion of the Eastern Planning Area within 125 miles of Florida, all areas in the Gulf of Mexico east of the Military Mission Line (86o 41’ west longitude), and the area within the Central Planning Area that is within 100 miles of Florida.

Access to Acreage for Leasing

The act stipulated that 8.3 million acres be offered for oil and gas leasing shortly after enactment of the statute. This acreage is included in both the Central Gulf Planning Area and the Eastern Gulf Planning Area. It consists of: