IADC Position on Lease Sale 259

IADC Position on Lease Sale 259

For Immediate Release

Houston (31 March 2023) – On 29 March 2023, the Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) executed Lease Sale 259, the second of three such lease sales as compelled by the Inflation Reduction Act signed into law by the U.S. Congress in August 2022. Required by the Act to have completed this lease sale by March 2023, the Biden administration is also obligated to carry out Lease Sale 261 by September 2023. These seemingly unusual arrangements whereby the administration of offshore oil and gas lease sales is undertaken directly via U.S. Law is the result of the Department of the Interior’s (DOI) lagging efforts to issue its new Five-year Offshore Leasing Plan on the heels of the previous plan that expired in June 2022.

Lease Sale 259 generated $263,801,783 as a result of 313 blocks being let – covering 1.6 million acres in the federal waters of the U.S. Gulf of Mexico. This sale originally offered up 13,600 blocks available for lease totaling 73 million acres in the Gulf’s Western, Central, and Eastern Planning Areas.

In response to BOEM’s implementation of Lease Sale 259, IADC President Jason McFarland made the following statement:

“While this ‘stop-gap’ action is encouraging as a means of bringing a more favorable level of certainty back to U.S. offshore energy production, considerable work still remains to see that the DOI makes good on its commitment to have a new Offshore Leasing Five-year Plan completed by the end of 2023. Completion of this much anticipated plan will restore a level of confidence necessary for continued U.S. energy production that substantially contributes to a growing global demand.”


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.