More than 20 million acres off the coast of Texas are up for auction Nov. 28 for oil and natural gas development, the US government announced.
New Orleans hosts lease sale 229 for portions of the western Gulf of Mexico. The lease sale is part of a five-year offshore exploration plan outlined by the White House.
US Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said the western Gulf of Mexico is one of the more lucrative areas for oil and natural gas in the country.
"With comprehensive safety standards in place, this sale will help us to continue to responsibly grow America's energy economy and reduce our dependence on foreign oil," he said in a statement.
The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management estimates the lease sale could lead to the production of as much as 200 million barrels of oil and 938 billion cubic feet of natural gas.
Last week, the House Natural Resources Committee, which has been critical of the existing five-year lease plan, approved a measure that expands the lease plan to include most of US territorial waters, including parts of the mid-Atlantic and the coast of California.
A lease sale in December brought in more than $300 million in bids for 21 million acres in the western Gulf of Mexico. A lease last month in the Central Gulf of Mexico attracted $1.7 billion for more than 2.4 million acres.