BOEM sets date for GoM oil and gas lease sale

Written by Nick Blenkey
Gulf of Mexico oil and gas lease sale is seen as essential to national security

Image: BOEM

As required by the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 (IRA), the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) will hold an oil and gas lease sale in the Gulf of Mexico on March 29, 2023. The legislation, which overturned an earlier administration decision on O&G lease sales, mandated that BOEM hold the sale no later than March 31, 2023.

Gulf of Mexico Oil and Gas Lease Sale 259 will offer approximately 13,600 blocks on 73.3 million acres in the Western, Central, and Eastern Planning Areas on the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf. The lease sale will be accessible via a link on The opening and reading of the bids will begin at 9 a.m. Central Daylight Time.

“The announcement by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) of the Final Sale Notice for the first Gulf of Mexico offshore oil and gas lease sale since November of 2021 is vital to our national security interests and will contribute important energy supplies amid tight global demand,” said National Ocean Industry Association president Erik Milito. “Importantly, offshore oil and gas Lease Sale 259 was mandated by the Inflation Reduction Act, which was signed into law by President Biden in August. Our national energy needs clearly support a commitment to continued U.S. offshore energy development. U.S. Gulf of Mexico offshore energy production is a key component of a national energy strategy that will ensure Americans can continue to have access to fundamental domestic energy that is produced safely, sustainably, and responsibly. “


“Operations in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico adhere to the highest safety and environmental standards,” continued Milito. “The multitude of companies involved in offshore energy development are working collaboratively to shrink an already small carbon footprint. From electrifying operations to deploying innovative solutions that reduce the size, weight, and part count of offshore infrastructure – thus increasing safety and decreasing emissions – the U.S. Gulf of Mexico hosts a high-tech revolution.

“Oil produced from the U.S. Gulf of Mexico has a carbon intensity one-half that of other producing regions. The technologies used in deepwater production – which represents 92 percent of the oil produced in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico – place this region among the lowest carbon intensity oil-producing regions in the world . Policies that restrict domestic offshore development require imports to make up the shortfall, and that supplemental production comes from higher-emitting operations in other countries,” Milito concluded.

In January, BOEM published a final supplemental Environmental Impact Statement for the lease sale that analyzed the important environmental resources and identified robust mitigation measures to be considered in leasing the area. The lease sale terms include stipulations to mitigate potential adverse effects on protected species and to avoid potential conflicts with other maritime uses.

  • The FNOS, a copy of the Record of Decision affirming the sale, a map of the lease sale area, and instructions for bidding are available HERE
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