Interior Dept. Announces Oil & Gas Lease Sale For Western Gulf

The Department of the Interior will offer more than twenty million acres off the Texas coast for oil and gas exploration in a lease sale. It will be the first offshore sale under the Obama administration's new five-year leasing program for the Outer Continental Shelf.

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced the sale will take place in New Orleans on November 28. The blocks up for sale are located from 9 to 250 miles offshore in the western Gulf of Mexico, at depths ranging from 16 to nearly 11,000 feet.

James Noe is senior vice president and general counsel for Hercules Offshore.

“Lease sales means companies are spending dollars for the right to explore for oil and gas offshore. If they’re spending millions of dollars for that privilege, they’re going to hire engineers and geologists. They’re going to hire seismic companies. Drilling rigs to go drill exploratory wells. They’re going to hire caterers to bring food out to the rig and equipment designers and manufacturers to bring equipment to support the operation. So, all in all, it’s very good news for Houston and for Texas.”

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management estimates the sale could result in the production of up to 200 barrels of oil and up to 938 billion cubic feet of natural gas.

Bio photo of Andrew Schneider

Andrew Schneider

Business Reporter

Andrew Schneider joined KUHF in January 2011, after more than a decade as a print reporter for The Kiplinger Letter...