Final Notice of Sale Outlines All Available Areas in Federal Waters
Date: February 11, 2020
WASHINGTON - In support of President Trump’s America-First Offshore Energy Strategy, U.S. Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt announced today that the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) will offer over 78 million acres for a region-wide lease sale scheduled for March 18, 2020. The sale would include all available unleased areas in federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico.
“Record domestic offshore oil and gas production in 2019 has played a vital role in President Trump’s vision for American energy independence,” said Department of the Interior Secretary David Bernhardt. “A strong and safe offshore energy program fuels the American economy, provides thousands of good paying jobs and delivers affordable and reliable energy for everyday use.”
Lease Sale 254, scheduled to be live streamed from New Orleans, will be the sixth offshore sale under the 2017-2022 Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program. Under this program, a total of ten region-wide lease sales are scheduled for the Gulf, where resource potential and industry interest are high, and oil and gas infrastructure is well established. Two Gulf lease sales are scheduled to be held each year and include all available blocks in the combined Western, Central and Eastern Gulf of Mexico Planning Areas.
“The Gulf of Mexico continues to be one of the most productive basins in the world and is an essential part of our Nation’s domestic energy portfolio,” said Director of BOEM’s New Orleans office Mike Celata. “BOEM’s staff works hard to help ensure future development is done in a manner that addresses our nation's energy needs, while protecting marine life and the environment in which they live. I continue to be proud of the workers who make these sales happen.”
Excluded from the lease sale are:
Revenues received from OCS leases (including high bids, rental payments and royalty payments) are directed to the U.S. Treasury, certain Gulf Coast states (Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama), the Land and Water Conservation Fund and the Historic Preservation Fund.
Leases resulting from this sale would 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.
BOEM has also included fiscal terms that take into account market conditions and ensure taxpayers receive fair market value for use of the OCS. Terms include a 12.5% royalty rate for leases in less than 200 meters of water depth, in recognition of current hydrocarbon price conditions and the marginal nature of remaining Gulf of Mexico shallow water resources and a royalty rate of 18.75% for all other leases issued pursuant to the sale.
All terms and conditions for Gulf of Mexico Region-wide Sale 254 are detailed in the Final Notice of Sale (FNOS) information package online. Copies of the FNOS maps can be requested from the Gulf of Mexico Region’s Public Information Unit at 1201 Elmwood Park Boulevard, New Orleans, LA 70123, or at 800-200-GULF (4853).
The Notice of Availability of the FNOS will be available online for inspection in the Federal Register and will publish in the Federal Register on Feb. 11, 2020.