USA: Hurricane Isaac Disrupts BOEM’s Bid Review Process

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has extended by 30 days the post-sale evaluation period for bids received in the federal oil and gas lease sale held in June. This action is necessary because of the temporary closure of the BOEM Gulf of Mexico Regional Office building in New Orleans and other effects of the recent hurricane impacting the region.

Central Gulf of Mexico Sale 216/222 held June 20, 2012, attracted $1,704,500,995 in high bids. BOEM received 593 bids on 454 tracts, with 391 of those tracts requiring additional detailed evaluations. When BOEM enacted its Hurricane Emergency Preparedness Plan on August 27th and subsequently closed the Regional Office building, 238 tracts had not yet been evaluated.

The Regional Office building remained closed until September 4. The building, including offices occupied by key personnel directly involved in the post-sale evaluation process, received minor water damage. This disruption has adversely affected the normal timeline of the bid evaluation process. Consequently, BOEM requires additional time to complete the review process.

Although BOEM normally conducts and completes the bid review process within the 90 days of the bid reading, the evaluation period can be extended when circumstances warrant.

Every bid is reviewed and high bids are evaluated to ensure that oil and gas companies are paying a fair price for the opportunity to develop any potential resources. If BOEM determines that a bid on a particular tract of land is not adequate, the bid is rejected and the tract will be offered at the next sale for that area. This process ensures that the nation’s offshore energy resources are protected and the public receives fair dollar value for development of those resources.

With the post-sale evaluation period for Central Gulf of Mexico Lease Sale 216/222 extension, BOEM will complete evaluating all the bids received in this sale by October 18, 2012.

Press Release, September 20, 2012

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