The U.S. Department of the Interior ’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) will hold consolidated Central Gulf of Mexico Lease Sale 216/222 in New Orleans on June 20, 2012. The sale will include all available unleased areas in the Central Planning Area offshore Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama.

The proposed lease sale includes approximately 7,250 unleased blocks covering nearly 38 million acres. The blocks are located from three to about 230 miles offshore in water depths ranging from nine to more than 11,115 feet in the Central Gulf of Mexico.

BOEM estimated that the area contains close to 31 billion barrels of oil and 134 trillion cubic feet of natural gas that are currently undiscovered and technically recoverable.  The agency also estimated that the Central Gulf sale could result in the production of 1 billion barrels of oil and 4 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.

Lease Sale 216/222 is the last remaining sale scheduled in the 2007-12 Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Natural Gas Leasing Program.

As President Barack Obama discussed in his state-of-the-union address on Jan. 24, the Interior Department is finalizing the next five-year program for 2012-17, which scheduled 12 lease sales in the Gulf of Mexico.

Proposed terms and conditions for the sale, which will be finalized in a final notice of sale published at least 30 days prior to the sale, are detailed in the proposed notice of sale information package .  Copies can also be requested from the Gulf of Mexico Region’s Public Information Office at 1201 Elmwood Park Boulevard, New Orleans, LA 70123, or at 800-200-GULF (4853).

The notice of availability of the proposed notice of sale will be available for inspection today in the Federal Register.