IADC Position on Extended Postponement of Lease Sale 261

IADC Position on Extended Postponement of Lease Sale 261

For Immediate Release

Houston (7 November 2023) – On 2 November, the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) announced the further postponement of Gulf of Mexico Lease Sale 261. BOEM has decided to delay Lease Sale 261, which was originally scheduled for 27 September and rescheduled for 8 November, due to an order issued by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit on 26 October 2023. 

In a recent news release, BOEM made the following statement regarding the current debate on whether or not to leave out 6 million acres from the lease sale to protect the endangered Rice’s whale: “Until the court rules, BOEM cannot be certain of which areas or stipulations may be included in the sale notice.” 

In response to this decision, International Association of Drilling Contractors (IADC) President Jason McFarland stated, “The additional delay of Lease Sale 261 is only the latest in a series of decisions that displays the Department of the Interior’s extreme negligence regarding domestic energy production. Since the potential for offshore renewable leasing actions is directly tied to oil and gas leasing activity via the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), BOEM has further exacerbated uncertainty to the substantial detriment of all forms of offshore energy that contribute to bolstering national security, increasing global supply, and safeguarding the environment. Lease Sale 261 is the last of the congressionally mandated lease sales via the IRA, and this indefinite suspension could effectively impose a leasing moratorium until 2025 when the next lease sales are scheduled, which is clearly not a guarantee that they will occur. IADC remains committed to productively working with all involved stakeholders to continue advocating for fair and sensible legislation that encourages the vital and responsible production of U.S. energy in all forms.”  


The International Association Drilling Contractors (IADC) is a non-profit trade association that is the global leader in advancing and promoting innovative technology and safe practices that bring oil and gas to the world’s consumers. More information.