BOEM proposes lease sale for eastern Gulf of Mexico

This article was updated Dec. 4 with corrected production data from BOEM.

The US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) said it will hold an oil and gas lease sale covering the Gulf of Mexico’s Eastern Planning Area on Mar. 19, 2014, in New Orleans. BOEM said the proposed Lease Sale 225 could result in the production of 71 million bbl of oil and 162 bcf of natural gas.

Lease Sale 225 is comprised of 134 whole or partial unleased blocks over 465,200 acres 125 miles offshore Louisiana in 2,657-10,213 ft of water. The area is south of eastern Alabama and western Florida, bordered by the Central Planning Area boundary on the west and the Military Mission Line on the east.

Ninety-three of the 134 blocks available are in the same area offered in Sale 224 in March 2008. The Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act of 2006 (GOMESA) specifies that Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas share in 37.5% of the bonus payments. Those four states will also share in 37.5% of all future revenues generated from those leases.

Another portion of revenues from those leases, 12.5%, is allocated to the Land and Water Conservation Fund. The remaining 41 blocks south of that area are not subject to revenue sharing under GOMESA.

This is the first lease sale proposed for the Eastern Planning Area in the 2012–17 Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Natural Gas Leasing Program.

The 5-year program, including as many as 15 lease sales in the gulf and Alaska, consists of 219 million acres on the US Outer Continental Shelf for lease, making all areas of the OCS with the highest oil and gas resource potential available for exploration and development.

BOEM in October scheduled central gulf Lease Sale 231 for Mar. 19, making 39 million acres available offshore Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama, encompassing 7,508 unleased blocks (OGJ Online, Oct. 25, 2013).

August’s western gulf Lease Sale 233 received 61 bids for 53 tracts covering just 301,006 acres out of 21 million acres available. High bids totaled $102,351,712—the smallest amount so far in the leasing program (OGJ Online, Aug. 28, 2013).

The first three sales under the program altogether offered more than 79 million acres and received a total of $1.4 billion in apparent high bids.

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