The U.S, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management has published a Record of Decision for proposed oil and gas WPA Lease Sale 246, which is scheduled for August 19, 2015. The proposed lease sale is in the Gulf of Mexico’s WPA off the states of Texas and Louisiana. Proposed WPA Lease Sale 246 is the fourth WPA lease sale scheduled in the OCS Oil and Gas Leasing Program for 2012–2017. In making its decision, BOEM considered two alternatives to the proposed action, the potential impacts as presented in the WPA 246 and 248 Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement, and all comments received throughout the National Environmental Policy Act process. The Western Planning Area 246 and 248 Supplemental EIS evaluated the environmental and socioeconomic impacts for proposed Western Planning Area Lease Sale 246.
BOEM has selected its preferred alternative, which offers for lease all unleased blocks within the proposed WPA lease sale area for oil and gas operations with the following exception: Whole and partial blocks within the boundary of the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary. All unleased whole and partial blocks in the WPA that BOEM will offer for leasing in proposed WPA Lease Sale 246 are listed in the document ‘‘List of Blocks Available for Leasing,’’ which is included in the Final Notice of Sale 246 Package. The proposed WPA lease sale area encompasses nearly all of the WPA’s 28.58 million acres. As of February 2015, approximately 21.9 million acres of the proposed WPA lease sale area were unleased. The estimated amount of resources projected to be developed as a result of this proposal is 0.116–0.200 billion barrels of oil (BBO) and 0.538–0.938 trillion cubic feet of gas.
An electronic copy of the ROD is available on BOEM’s Web site here.