US unveils largest oil and gas lease sale in US historyNews // October 26, 2017
US Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke has announced that the Department is proposing the largest oil and gas lease sale ever held in the United States - 76,967,935 acres in federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico, offshore Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida.
The proposed region-wide lease sale, offering an area about the size of New Mexico, is scheduled for March 2018 and includes all available unleased areas on the Gulf’s Outer Continental Shelf, surpassing last year’s region-wide lease sale by about one million acres.
“In today’s low-price energy environment, providing the offshore industry access to the maximum amount of opportunities possible is part of our strategy to spur local and regional economic dynamism and job creation and a pillar of President Trump’s plan to make the United States energy dominant,” Secretary Zinke said. “And the economic terms proposed for this sale include a range of incentives to encourage diligent development and ensure a fair return to taxpayers.”
Proposed Lease Sale 250, which will be livestreamed from New Orleans, will be the second offshore sale under the National Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program for 2017-2022.
Lease Sale 249, held in New Orleans last August, received US$121 million in high bids. In addition to the high bids and rental payments, the Department will receive royalty payments on any future production from these leases. Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) lease revenues are directed to the US Treasury, Gulf Coast states, the Land and Water Conservation Fund and Historic Preservation Fund.
“In order to strengthen America’s energy dominance, we must anticipate and plan for our needs for decades to come," said Senator Lisa Murkowski, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Energy & Natural Resources.
"The administration’s decision to move forward with the largest offshore lease sale in our nation’s history is a key part of that effort. Whether in Alaska or the Gulf of Mexico, we should all support responsible development because it creates high-paying jobs, strengthens national security, and keeps energy affordable for our families and businesses.”
“President Trump’s team is following through on their commitment to advancing America’s energy independence," said Senator Roger Wicker. "Unlike the previous administration, this one understands that expanded offshore energy development benefits working families, consumers, and our national security. This is a win for Mississippi and the entire country.”
“President Trump and his administration are following through on their promise to end the war on American energy," said Senator Bill Cassidy. "Investing in energy creates better jobs with better benefits for working families, strengthens our national security and strengthens our energy independence.”
“This is great news that our oil and gas industry in Louisiana sorely needs. This is the largest sale in US history, and it will create jobs and bolster our state and national economy," said Senator John Kennedy. "Our Louisiana workers are ready to go back to work.”