Outer Continental Shelf Sale 40:

Inadequate Data Used to Select and Evaluate Lands to Lease

EMD-77-51: Published: Jun 28, 1977. Publicly Released: Jun 28, 1977.

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The Department of Interior's policy of leasing Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) lands that have not been properly evaluated because of insufficient data has led to problems.

A review of Sale 40 indicated that the Department had insufficient data with which to value the tracts. There was only one deep stratigraphic test off-structure for Sale 40. The reliability rating showed that only one of the three major parameters for resource evaluation could be identified by seismic data. A number of tracts (49%) received only one or two bids each. The differences in values assigned by the Department and by industry to the minimum valued tracts leased differed by an average of almost 2,000%.

Matter for Congressional Consideration

  1. Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Matter: The Secretary of the Interior should direct a geological exploration program to develop and implement a plan for appraising OCS oil and gas resources, and then encourage industry to drill with information shared with Interior on a confidential basis. If any data are still needed, Interior should take necessary actions, including public financing of stratigraphic drilling, to obtain it; offer for lease only those areas adequately assessed; and determine whether it is in the national interest to have prelease exploration be either on-structure or off-structure. Congress should favorably consider pending legislation on OCS leasing.


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