76 million acres offered in Gulf of Mexico petroleum sale

Washington, D.C. – Millions of acres of federal waters will be opened to petroleum exploration and production during a lease sale scheduled for next month.

U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke announced on July 13 that the government will offer 75.6 million acres in the Gulf of Mexico region will be eligible for lease on August 16.

The sale includes all available unleased federal waters off the shores of Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida.

“Our Outer Continental Shelf lands offer vast energy development opportunities and we are committed to encouraging increased energy exploration and production in these offshore areas to maintain the Nation’s global dominance in energy production,” Secretary Zinke said.

Some waters are blocked from sale by the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act of 2006. Blocks around the Flower Gardens Banks National Marine Sanctuary and blocks near the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone are also not up for lease.

According to the Department of the Interior, the terms of the lease include stipulations to protect the environment.

You can read the full notice of availability here: http://www.archives.gov/federal-register/public-inspection/index.html

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