As previously forecast, the winds of change are heading to the home of America’s offshore energy industry. On February 22, 2023, the US Department of the Interior’s (DOI) Bureau of Energy Management (BOEM) announced the first-ever offshore wind lease sale in the Gulf of Mexico (GOM). The proposed GOM sale comes in the middle of the comment period on the agency’s proposed changes to the offshore wind regulations.
The Proposed Sale Notice (PSN) includes 102,480 acres near Lake Charles, Louisiana, and two areas near Galveston, Texas, one comprising 102,480 acres, and the other comprising 96,786 acres (see the below image). BOEM appears to be interested in comments on regulations that would limit leasing near Galveston to a single area or potentially eliminate the sale of leases in either area.
The PSN is expected to be published in the Federal Register this week, thereby beginning a 60-day public comment period, expected to end in late April 2023. This means that stakeholder comments will likely be due mid-May. If DOI decides to proceed with the sale, BOEM will publish a Final Sale Notice at least 30 days before the sale announcing the time and date of the sale and the companies qualified to participate.
Several of our blog posts linked above describe this process in further detail for the information of stakeholders who wish to comment and possibly bid on this exciting new development opportunity.