New Orleans, LA
By Ramona du Houx
As required by Congressional direction in the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) held Gulf of Mexico Lease Sale 259, which generated $263,801,783 in high bids for 313 tracts covering 1.6 million acres in federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico.
In order to get Sen. Joe Manchin to agree to the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), which made the largest investment in clean energy in US history, a provision included in the IRA was to let lease sales be offered to the oil and gas industry before the offshore wind. This is the first result of that policy.
A total of 32 companies participated in the lease sale, submitting $309,798,397 in total bids. Leases resulting from this sale will include stipulations to mitigate potential adverse effects on protected species and to avoid potential conflicts with other ocean uses in the region.
Revenues received from offshore oil and gas leases (including high bids, rental payments, and royalty payments) are directed to the U.S. Treasury, certain Gulf Coast states (Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama) and local governments, the Land and Water Conservation Fund and the Historic Preservation Fund.
Lease Sale 259 offered approximately 13,600 unleased blocks, approximately 73 million acres, in the Gulf’s Western, Central and Eastern Planning Areas.
All terms and conditions for Lease Sale 259 are detailed in the Final Notice of Sale information package, which is available at https://www.boem.gov/oil-gas-energy/leasing/lease-sale-259.