US Sets Date For Largest Oil, Gas Lease Sale in History

US Sets Date For Largest Oil, Gas Lease Sale in History
AP Photo/ Mary Altaffer, fileUS05:58 17.02.2018Get short URL

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – More than 77 million acres of federally owned waters will be auctioned to offshore oil and natural gas developers in the largest sale of its kind ever, the US Department of the Interior announced in a press release on Friday.

“The region-wide lease sale, which is the largest in US history, is scheduled for March 21, 2018, and will include all available unleased areas in federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico,” the release said.

In announcing the offering of 77.3 million acres, Deputy Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt noted that the sale supports President Donald Trump’s “America-First Offshore Energy Strategy.”

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) estimates that the Gulf of Mexico outer continental shelf, covering about 160 million acres, has technically recoverable resources of over 48 billion barrels of oil and 141 trillion cubic feet of gas, the release said.

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, the release added.

The Trump administration has announced plans to open nearly all of American waters off the Atlantic, Pacific and Arctic coasts to energy exploration and drilling.