WSJ: U.S. to Sell Offshore-Drilling Leases in Gulf

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WSJ: U.S. to Sell Offshore-Drilling Leases in Gulf

Post by Dr. Manhattan on Fri Aug 19, 2011 9:55 am

U.S. to Sell Offshore-Drilling Leases in Gulf

* AUGUST 19, 2011, 9:41 A.M. ET
By DEBORAH SOLOMON

The Obama administration said it will sell leases for offshore drilling in the Gulf of Mexico for the first time since last year's oil spill involving BP PLC and a subsequent six-month drilling ban.

The move comes amid criticism by the oil and gas industry that the administration is holding back oil production by being too slow to issue permits and lease new areas for exploration. A report this week by the U.S. Energy Information Administration found offshore oil production, most of which comes from the Gulf, is expected to be down 13% from 2010.

The lease sale is part of a broader effort by the administration to resume offshore oil and gas production across the U.S. Earlier this month, the Interior Department gave Royal Dutch Shell conditional approval of its plan to drill in the Arctic Ocean next summer.

The sale, to be held on Dec. 14, 2011, will include areas in the Western Gulf area off of Texas.

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