Gulf lease sale to open 38M acres to drilling

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Federal regulators plan March 20 to put more than 38 million acres in the central Gulf of Mexico up for bid to offshore energy producers.

The U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, which regulates offshore drilling, said Thursday the New Orleans sale will include about 7,299 federally-owned drilling tracts, three to 230 miles off the coasts of Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi. The tracts are in water depths of nine to more than 11,115 feet.

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