Energy & Environment

Feds to auction 41M acres of Gulf of Mexico drilling rights

The Interior Department is planning a March auction to sell the oil and gas drilling rights to 41.2 million acres in the central Gulf of Mexico.

It is the seventh lease sale Interior will conduct under its five offshore drilling plan for 2012 to 2017.

{mosads}“As one of the most productive basins in the world, the Gulf of Mexico is an important part of the Administration’s energy strategy,” Abigail Ross Hopper, director of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, said in a statement.

“As a critical component of the nation’s energy portfolio, the Gulf holds vital energy resources that can continue to generate jobs and spur economic opportunities for Gulf producing states, as well as further reduce the nation’s dependence on foreign oil,” she said.

The sale will include 7,788 blocks of unleased space that are between three and 230 nautical miles off the shores of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama, Interior said.

Drilling companies could get up to a billion gallons of oil and 4 trillion cubic feet of gas from the blocks being auctioned.

The auction has been scheduled for March 18 in New Orleans.

Tags Bureau of Ocean Energy Management Interior Department Offshore drilling

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