BOEM: Western gulf lease sale to offer 21 million acres

The US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management reported it will offer 20.7 million acres in the western Gulf of Mexico offshore Texas for exploration and development in its upcoming Lease Sale 233. The sale is slated to be held on Aug. 28 in New Orleans.

BOEM estimates that the sale could result in the production of 116-200 million bbl of oil and 538-938 bcf of natural gas. The sale offers 3,864 blocks ranging 9-250 miles offshore in 16-11,000 ft of water.

This is the third lease sale under the Outer Continental Shelf 2012-17 leasing program, and the second of five lease sales being offered covering acreage in the western gulf. In March, BOEM awarded 307 leases for a combined value of $1.2 billion. A total of 7,250 blocks had been offered.

In all, 218.94 million acres are expected to be offered in the program: 93.75 million in the gulf and 125.19 million in Alaska.

The terms of the upcoming August sale differ from the two previous sales because the provision for deep gas royalty relief under the Energy Policy Act of 2005 expired on May 3. Ultradeep gas royalty relief required under EPACT will still be available.

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