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Interior Is Leasing 36M Acres for Oil and Gas

WASHINGTON (CN) - Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar announced the department will hold an oil and natural gas lease sale for the Central Gulf of Mexico Outer Continental Shelf that will offer nearly 36 million acres, which could produce up to 1.3 billion barrels of oil and 5.4 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.

Interior's Minerals Management Service has proposed that the lease sale of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama offshore acres be held March 17.

Since January 2009, the Minerals Management Service has conducted two offshore auctions and Interior's Bureau of Land Management has held 29 onshore oil and gas lease sales. Together these sales offered more than 55 million acres of U.S. public land for oil and natural gas exploration and development.

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