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article imageFeds announce huge Gulf of Mexico oil and gas lease sale

By Karen Graham     Jul 19, 2019 in Environment
The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) is set to hold a Gulf of Mexico-wide oil and gas lease sale, which is scheduled for August 21 this year, and would include all available unleased areas in federal waters covering a total of 77.8 million acres.
U.S. Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt, a former oil lobbyist, said on Thursday: “The Trump administration is laser-focused on developing our domestic offshore oil and gas resources in an environmentally conscious manner, and the Gulf of Mexico is front and center for that development."
“The expansion of America’s energy sector has been a major economic driver for the American people in keeping energy prices low. Our work in the Gulf of Mexico to ensure America leads the world in energy production is paramount," Bernhardt said, reports Oilprice.com
"Lease Sale 253 will be the fifth offshore sale under the 2017-2022 Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Oil and Gas Leasing Program, which plans a total of ten sales. Two lease sales on the Gulf of Mexico are set to take place every year and include all available blocks in the combined Western, Central, and Eastern Gulf of Mexico Planning Areas. Lease Sale 253 comes in support of President Donald Trump’s America-First Offshore Energy Strategy," said the DOI press release.
The lease sale will include 14,585 tracts. They’re in water 3 to 231 miles (5 to 370 kilometers) offshore and in water from 9 feet to more than 2 miles (3 to 3,400 meters) deep, according to the Associated Press.
Gulf of Mexico Region Program Area
Gulf of Mexico Region Program Area
BOEM
Trump's rollback of offshore oil drilling regulations
On May 2, 2019, the Trump administration made public its rollback of a major offshore-drilling safety regulation, significantly weakening an Obama-era rule that was put in place after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon explosion in the Gulf of Mexico, according to the New York Times.
Interior Secretary Bernhardt made the Thursday afternoon announcement in Port Fourchon, La., the vast industrial hub that serves as the onshore base for most companies that drill in the Gulf of Mexico.
The rollback of safety rules is all part of Trump's attempt to remove any reference to regulations put into place by President Barack Obama and to vastly expand offshore drilling in the nation’s waters. Last year, the Interior Department also proposed opening almost the entire United States coastline to drilling - a move that resulted in a number of lawsuits now going through the courts.
More about BOEM, all unleased areas, Gulf of Mexico, AmericaFirst, oil and gas drilling
 
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