The U.S. Department of Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has set a date to hold its first offshore oil and gas lease sale under the Biden Administration after a U.S. District Court decision ordered the sales to resume.
President Biden in January halted new federal oil and gas leasing as part of his broader effort to combat climate change. However, several states challenged the pause and won in Louisiana court in June. The Administration has since moved to resume leasing as it works to appeal the ruling.
Lease Sale 257 will take place November 17, 2021 and offer approximately 15,135 unleased blocks in the Gulf of Mexico. The blocks being offered are located from 3 to 231 miles offshore in water depths ranging from 9 to more than 11,115 feet (3 to 3,400 meters).
The sale will be the eighth offshore sale under the 2017-2022 Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Oil and Gas Leasing Program, which was planned under the Obama administration and approved by then Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell on January 17, 2017.
The Gulf of Mexico OCS, covering about 160 million acres, is estimated to contain about 48 billion barrels of undiscovered technically recoverable oil and 141 trillion cubic feet of undiscovered technically recoverable gas, according to BOEM.
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