The Economic Impacts of Allowing Access to the Eastern Gulf of Mexico for Oil and Natural Gas Exploration and Development


The U.S. offshore oil and natural gas industry is a significant contributor to domestic energy production, the national economy, 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 Eastern Gulf planning area is one such restricted area, with the vast majority of the area under a congressional drilling moratorium until 2022.

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