The Interior Department’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) Friday said it has proposed an oil and natural gas lease sale in the central region of the Gulf of Mexico (GOM) for March 19.

Leasel Sale 231, the second sale in the central GOM and fourth overall sale under the administration’s 2012-2017 Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) leasing program, will offer 39 million acres offshore Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama, and will include all available unleased areas in the central GOM, the BOEM said.

The proposed lease sale encompasses approximately 7,508 unleased blocks, which are located up to 230 miles from shore and in water depths ranging from nine to more than 11,115 feet. The agency estimates that the proposed lease sale has the potential to produce 4 Tcf of natural gas and 1 billion bbl of oil.

“The Central Gulf of Mexico is one of the most prospective and productive [offshore] basins in the world,” said BOEM Director Tommy P. Beaudreau.

The Central GOM sale (Lease Sale 227), held last March, was a success, with producers showing significant interest (see Daily GPI, March 21). It netted $1.2 billion in bonus bids for 320 blocks covering more than 1.7 million acres offshore Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama, BOEM said (see Daily GPI, March 21).

The affected states can comment on the size, timing and location of the proposed Lease Sale 231 within 60 days following their receipt of the proposed notice of sale (NOS). The proposed NOS and a “proposed notice of sale package” containing information essential to potential bidders may be obtained from the BOEM regional office in New Orleans, LA.

For further information, e-mail, or call (504) 736-2519.