"The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) will offer approximately 78 million acres offshore Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida for oil and gas exploration and development," the release stated on Thursday. "The region-wide lease sale scheduled for Aug. 15, 2018, includes all available unleased areas in federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico."
"Under this program, ten region-wide lease sales are scheduled for the Gulf, where resource potential and industry interest are high, and oil and gas infrastructure is well established," the release added.
The release explained that the lease sale will include some 14,622 unleased blocks, located from three to 231 miles offshore, in the Gulf’s Western, Central and Eastern planning areas.
The BOEM estimates that the Gulf of Mexico outer continental shelf, covering about 160 million acres, has technically recoverable resources of over 48 billion barrels of oil and 141 trillion cubic feet of gas, the release said.
The Trump administration has announced plans to open nearly all of American waters off the Atlantic, Pacific and Arctic coasts to energy exploration and drilling.