US department of Interior declares date for region-wide Oil and Gas lease sale
In a view to support the trump administration, Deputy Secretary of US department of Interior David Bernhardt asserted that the Department will extend 77.3 million acres of offshore Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida for oil and gas exploration and development. The lease is slated for March 21, 2018 and will incorporate all available unleased areas in federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico.
Deputy Secretary Bernhardt said.“A strong offshore energy program supports tens of thousands good paying jobs and provides the affordable and reliable energy we need to heat homes, fuel our cars, and power our economy. We have the strongest safety regulations in the world and today’s technology is making the responsible development of our resources even safer. We look forward to this important sale and continuing to raise energy revenues, which fund efforts to help safeguard our natural areas, water resources and cultural heritage, and to provide recreation opportunities to all Americans.”
This lease sale is set to be the second offshore sale under the National Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Oil and Gas Leasing Program for 2017-2022. It will include about 14,776 unleased blocks, located from three to 231 miles offshore, in the Gulf’s Western, Central and Eastern planning areas in water depths ranging from nine to more than 11,115 feet (three to 3,400 meters). Excluded from the lease sale are blocks subject to the Congressional moratorium established by the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act of 2006.
The lease sale terms 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. Additionally, BOEM has included appropriate fiscal terms that take into account market conditions and ensure taxpayers receive a fair return for use of the OCS. These terms include a 12.5% royalty rate for leases in less than 200 meters of water depth, and a royalty rate of 18.75% for all other leases issued pursuant to the sale.