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Government to auction off Gulf oil, gas leases

Keywords: Tags  Department of the Interior, Gulf of Mexico, Sally Jewell, lease sale, oil, natural gas, oil and gas

NEW YORK — The U.S. Department of the Interior is offering more than 21 million acres offshore Texas for oil and gas exploration in a lease sale.

The sale will include 3,953 blocks located between 9 and 250 miles offshore in water between 16 and 10,975 feet deep. The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) estimates that the area could produce 116 to 200 million barrels of oil and 538 to 938 billion cubic feet of natural gas.

The proposed lease sale follows a 39-million-acre sale in March that netted $1.2 billion and a 20-million-acre sale last November that garnered $134 million.

“This proposed lease sale reflects President Obama’s continued commitment to safely and responsibly develop our domestic energy resources to help create jobs, foster economic opportunities and reduce America’s dependence on foreign oil,” Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell said in a statement.

A provision for deep gas royalty relief under the Energy Policy Act of 2005, which sunsets May 3, will not be available for leases under the terms of this sale.

Lease Sale 223 will be held in New Orleans in August.

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