MMS to issue 5-year lease sale plan

The US Minerals Management Service is expected this week to release its proposed 5-year Outer Continental Shelf oil and gas leasing program for 2002-07.Industry and congressional sources predict there will be few surprises-namely, no additional leasing areas outside of the central and western Gulf of Mexico and parts of Alaska. A draft environmental impact statement also will be released, and the agency will seek public comment for 90 days.Last December, MMS issued a notice soliciting comments and suggestions for preparing the new program as well as information on issues and alternatives that should be addressed in the accompanying environmental impact statement.The OCS Lands Act requires...

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