Oil and gas leases for nearly 24 million acres of ocean in the Gulf of Mexico are to be sold in an online auction.
Abigail Ross Hopper, Director of the US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) announcing the auction said: “The Gulf of Mexico continues to be one of the most productive basins in the world and is an important part of our Nation’s domestic energy portfolio. This lease sale follows extensive environmental analysis and stakeholder engagement.”
The sale will be the first federal offshore oil and gas auction broadcast live on the internet, opening the process up to a much broader global audience.
This approach will allow for greater efficiency and transparency, eliminating the need for the public to physically attend the bid reading.
The auction will include approximately 4,399 parcels of land, located from nine to 250 miles offshore, in water depths ranging from 16 feet deep to around 11,000 feet deep.
BOEM estimates that between 116 to 200 million barrels of oil and 538 to 938 billion cubic feet of natural gas will be produced in the area.
The Gulf was the scene of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster and subsequent oil spill.