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GEST Comments on BOEM’s OCS Lease Sale 251

Gulf Economic Survival Team (GEST) Executive Director Lori LeBlanc today issued the following statement with regard to the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management’s OCS Lease Sale 251:

“The Gulf Economic Survival Team watched today’s OCS lease sale very closely in anticipation of positive indicators around the offshore oil and gas industry.  With 29 companies submitting 171 bids for a total of $178 million we are hopeful the offshore industry is holding steady as this represents an increase as compared to the previous lease sale in March 2018.  Since the recent industry downturn, the Houma-Thibodaux region has lost more than 16,000 jobs and the Gulf rig count is down by 38 rigs, or 32%, in the last four years.

“The Gulf of Mexico is the premier offshore energy basin for American energy; however, the recent downturn has significantly impacted the offshore service sector and has left thousands of hard working Americans without jobs.  Offshore oil and gas development is a globally competitive market and offshore operators can choose to invest their dollars in other parts of the world.  If the Administration truly wants to achieve “energy dominance” then it would be prudent to adopt a deepwater royalty relief program that provides a competitive edge for the Gulf of Mexico and long-term sustainability.  Production may be up, but jobs are down, vessels are tied up, and our nation needs to adopt policies that will boost offshore activity now more than ever.”