The Department of the Interior will hold an oil and natural gas lease sale for the Central Gulf of Mexico Outer Continental Shelf that will offer nearly 36 million acres and could produce up to 1.3 billion barrels of oil and 5.4 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. The sale will be Mar. 17. Notice is to be published in the Federal Register Monday.
In making the announcement Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said, "As we build a comprehensive energy strategy for our nation, we are moving ahead both with environmentally-responsible renewable energy development on public lands and appropriate oil and natural gas exploration and development onshore and offshore."
Thanks to an enhanced revenue sharing program mandated by the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act of 2006, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas will share 37.5% of all revenue from leases in that area. In addition, 12.5% of revenues will be deposited into the Land and Water Conservation Fund for use by all 50 states to enhance parklands and for other conservation projects.