Breaking News

Next U.S. Gulf of Mexico lease sale will be online

Advocates had said moving auctions online could silence the voice of opposition.

By Daniel J. Graeber
Sheen from crude oil discharged from a segment of flow line at the Glider Field off the coast of Louisiana. The next lease sale will be online and advocates have said that's meant as a silencing move. Photo by U.S. Coast Guard/UPI
| License Photo
The next lease sale planned by the U.S. government for oil and gas reserves in the Gulf of Mexico will be streamed live on the Internet, an agency said.
On March 22, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management plans to stream the next lease for the rights to drill into 48 million acres of territorial waters off the coast of Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi.
"Livestreaming the sale enables BOEM to deliver pertinent bid information immediately to a much broader national and international audience," the agency explained.
Environmental advocates had complained moving the lease online would silence the voice of dissent. Demonstrations were held in March 2016 at the Superdome in downtown New Orleans to protest plans for the leasing of maritime acreage in the Gulf of Mexico to oil and gas drillers.
The March 22 sale is the twelfth and final offshore sale for the Gulf of Mexico under a five-year lease plan outlined by President Barack Obama. The outgoing president enacted a ban recently that put some Arctic and Atlantic basins off limits to drillers. His successor, Donald Trump, has put forward a more assertive oil and gas policy than Obama.
BOEM Director Abigail Ross Hopper said in a statement the U.S. waters of the Gulf of Mexico remain a fundamental component of the U.S. energy economy.
"As one of the most productive basins in the world, the Gulf of Mexico remains an important component of our domestic energy strategy to create jobs, foster economic opportunities, and reduce America's dependence on foreign oil," she said in a statement.
Estimates from the U.S. Energy Information Administration put total oil production from the Gulf of Mexico at around 1.6 million barrels per day, which represents about 20 percent of the total output.
Recently analysis from consultant group Wood Mackenzie said that more than half of the new volumes of oil next year could come from deepwater basins, where the bottom line shows potential at less than $50 per barrel for oil.

No comments