US President Announced Availability of More Gulf Oil and Gas Exploration

The administration of President Obama recently said that it will open up another part in the Gulf of Mexico for hydrocarbon exploration. That would mark the third expansion since the disaster of BP’s Deepwater Horizon oil rig back in 2010.

The planned sale of leases covering 15.4 million hectares of the Gulf is set to happen in March of 2013, said Ken Slazar, Secretary of Interior of the United States. The area may consist of crude and natural gas reserves of about 1 billion barrels, according to officials.

The area in question is located from 5 to 370 kilometers offshore with depths of at least 3 to more than 3,600 meters.

Since December 2011, the current U.S. administration offered almost 24.3 million hectares for bids. It has so far received an oil investment of $2.25 billion dollars for leases spanning 1.4 million hectares, according to the Department of the Interior.

Oil and gas exploration in the Mexican Gulf remains a tough topic since the huge 2010 oil spill following an oil rig explosion that led to the deaths of 11 workers. That was considered the biggest accidental crude spill in the history of the oil industry

President Obama has decided to open additional areas for oil investment that was previously considered as unavailable or controversial because of environmental worries. However, the president has advanced his policies regarding solar, wind and biodiesel energy investments, and enacted new regulations to increase car mileage by 50 percent by 2025 as part of his “all of the above” approach to energy.

Tougher ocean drilling safety and environmental rules came after the disaster. Just recently, Royal Dutch Shell was obliged to postpone oil drilling in the waters of the Alaskan Arctic until the spring thaw next year after it saw damages from an oil spill containment dome, a new ocean oil drilling requirement of the United States.

Since Obama held office, the domestic oil output is at its highest in eight years and the flow of natural gas at its highest ever, according to officials. International oil imports consist of less than 50 percent of the total daily consumption of the United States, amounting to 19 million barrels, the lowest rate since 1995.