More than 21 million acres will be offered for lease in the Western Gulf of Mexico (GOM) Planning Area in August, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) said Tuesday.

BOEM estimates that proposed lease sale 238 could result in the production of 116-200 million bbl of oil and 538-938 Bcf of natural gas. The sale would be the sixth offshore sale under the Obama administration’s Outer Continental Shelf 2012-2017 program. The first five sales offered more than 60 million acres and netted nearly $2.3 billion.

“The nation’s economy and our national security depend heavily on adequate and reliable domestic sources of energy, and the Gulf of Mexico continues to be a critical component of the nation’s energy portfolio,” said BOEM Director Tommy Beaudreau. “This proposed lease sale underscores our commitment to make millions of acres of federal waters available for safe and responsible exploration and development.”

The sale would include 3,992 blocks covering about 21.4 million acres that are nine to 250 miles offshore in water depths from 16 feet to more than 10,975 feet (5 to 3,346 meters). BOEM plans to offer blocks located, or partially located, within the three statute-mile U.S.-Mexico Boundary Area.

“As one of the most productive basins in the world, this lease sale is another important step to promoting responsible domestic energy production through the safe, environmentally sound development of the nation’s offshore energy resources,” Beaudreau said. “The decision to move forward with this lease sale follows extensive environmental analysis, public input and consideration of the best scientific information available.”

Terms and conditions outlined for Sale 238 are not final. Different terms and conditions may be employed in the final notice of sale, which is to be published at least 30 days before the sale. Information is available at Copies of the maps may be requested from the GOM Region Public Information Unit at 1201 Elmwood Park Blvd., New Orleans, LA 70123, or by calling (800) 200-4853.