The Economic Impacts of Allowing Access to the Pacific OCS for Oil and Natural Gas Exploration and Development

The offshore oil and natural gas industry is a significant contributor to the U.S.’ domestic energy production and the national economy including employment and government revenues. New offshore oil and gas exploration and development in the U.S. is currently limited primarily to the Central and Western Gulf of Mexico, with limited legacy production off California and Alaska. In total, approximately 94 percent of the total acreage in federal offshore waters is inaccessible to offshore oil and natural gas development, either through lack of federal lease sales or outright moratoriums. The Pacific OCS is currently inaccessible to new activity due to the lack of any recent lease sales within the region – all current production and active leases were purchased prior to the last lease sale in 1984.

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