U.S. government to sell central Gulf of Mexico drilling leases

Posted on September 24, 2012

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HOUSTON, Sept. 24 (Xinhua) — The U.S. government on Monday announced plans to auction 38 million acres of offshore oil and natural gas leases in central Gulf of Mexico next year.

The sale, to be held March 20, 2013, will be the first auction of central Gulf of Mexico drilling leases under the Obama administration’s new five-year plan governing offshore energy, according to report by daily newspaper The Houston Chronicle.

The sale will offer all unleased areas in the Central Gulf of Mexico Planning Area, offshore Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama and could lead to the production of nearly a billion barrels of oil and nearly 4 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, according to media reports. The planned sale supports the U.S. government’s goal of continuing to increase domestic oil and gas production which has grown each year since President Barack Obama has been in office, the reports said.

Officials said the sale shows the Obama administration’s commitment to domestic energy development. “We are moving full speed ahead on the president’s all of the- above energy strategy because the exploration and development of the Gulf of Mexico’s vital energy resources will continue to help power our nation and drive our economy,”Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said in a statement.

Under the five-year lease plan, the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management will hold 12 Gulf of Mexico lease sales before June 30, 2017.
Editor: Mu Xuequan

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