The U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management has published its Gulf of Mexico OCS Oil and Gas Lease Sales: 2017-2022; Gulf of Mexico Lease Sales 249, 250, 251, 252, 253, 254, 256, 257, 259, and 261; Final Multisale Environmental Impact Statement (2017-2022 GOM Multisale EIS). The proposed oil and gas lease sales are tentatively scheduled to be held in 2017-2022 under the 2017-2022 Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing: Proposed Final Program.
BOEM is proposing to offer for oil and gas leasing all available unleased blocks within the Western Planning Area, Central Planning Area, and Eastern Planning Area, with the exception of whole and portions of blocks deferred by the Gulf of Mexico Security Act of 2006, blocks that are adjacent to or beyond the United States’ Exclusive Economic Zone in the area known as the northern portion of the Eastern Gap, and whole and partial blocks within the boundary of the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary (i.e., the boundary as of the publication of the 2017-2022 GOM Multisale EIS).
The proposed WPA lease sale area encompasses about 28.58 million acres. As of January 2017, approximately 25.8 million acres of the proposed WPA lease sale area are currently unleased. The proposed CPA lease sale area encompasses about 63 million acres of the total CPA area of 66.45 million acres. As of January 2017, approximately 49.0 million acres of the proposed CPA lease sale area are currently unleased. The proposed EPA lease sale area covers approximately 657,905 acres and includes those blocks previously included in the EPA Lease Sales 225 and 226 area, which is bordered by the CPA boundary on the west and the Military Mission Line (86º41′ W. longitude) on the east. The area is south of eastern Alabama and western Florida; the nearest point of land is 125 miles (201 kilometers) northwest in Louisiana. As of January 2017, approximately 606,995 acres of the proposed EPA lease sale area are currently unleased.
The Final 2017-2022 GOM Multisale EIS analyzes the baseline conditions and potential environmental effects of oil and natural gas leasing, exploration, development, and production in the regionwide lease sale area.