The Department of Interior, in the Trump administration’s first Gulf of Mexico (GOM) lease sale for 2017-2022, plans to offer 75.9 million acres for auction offshore Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida, almost three million more acresand nearly 500 blocks more than originally proposed. Lease Sale 249 on Aug. 16 is scheduled to be livestreamed from New Orleans. The final notice of sale includes about 14,200 blocks from three to 231 miles offshore in the GOM. For leases awarded in waters less than 200 meters deep, Interior is offering a reduced royalty rate of 12.5% versus the previous standard of 18.75%. Copies of the block maps may be requested from the GOM Region’s Public Information Unit, 1201 Elmwood Park Blvd., New Orleans, LA 70123, or at 800-200-GULF.