The U.S. completed a draft environmental assessment for an oil and gas lease sale as soon as this year in the western Gulf of Mexico, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement said.
The offshore-energy industry has developed the resources to meet U.S. regulations imposed after the BP Plc oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, allowing additional exploration and leasing, the top federal regulator said.
Oil-lease auctions for the Gulf of Mexico should be halted because regulators failed to fully consider the risks revealed in the Deepwater Horizon disaster, according to a lawsuit filed by environmental activist groups.
The Obama administration remains slow in approving plans for deep-water oil exploration in the Gulf of Mexico, according to the American Petroleum Institute , the largest energy trade organization in the U.S.
ConocoPhillips was the top bidder for a lease to drill for oil in the western Gulf of Mexico in the third auction since the administration of President Barack Obama began a new offshore drilling plan last year.