US Gulf Lease Sale Set for November

Lease Sale 256 was originally set for August but was moved due to COVID-19’s impact on the oil and gas markets. Bids will be accepted by mail only due to the ongoing pandemic.

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The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) will offer approximately 78.8 million acres for a US Gulf of Mexico (GOM) lease sale in November, which will include approximately 14,755 unleased blocks. Lease Sale 256 was originally scheduled for August but was moved to allow further analysis to consider recent changes in the oil and gas markets brought on by COVID-19.

BOEM said bids will be accepted by mail only due to the pandemic. All terms and conditions for the sale are detailed in the Proposed Notice of Sale (PNOS) information package. The Notice of Availability of the PNOS is available for inspection in the Federal Register .

Revenues received from the GOM outer continental shelf (OCS) leases are directed to the US Treasury, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, the Land and Water Conservation Fund, and the Historic Preservation Fund.

Leases resulting from the sale include stipulations to protect biologically sensitive resources, mitigate potential adverse effects on protected species, and avoid potential conflicts associated with oil and gas development in the region. 

The lease does not include blocks subject to the congressional moratorium established by the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act of 2006, blocks adjacent to or beyond the US Exclusive Economic Zone in the area known as the northern portion of the Eastern Gap, and whole blocks and partial blocks within the current boundaries of the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary,

The previous lease sale in March drew just over half the usual number of bids due to weak oil prices. Lease Sale 254 generated $93 million in high bids compared to nearly $160 million raised in an August 2019 auction.