Salazar to attend federal oil and gas lease sale

GULF OF MEXICO — U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar will be on hand when federal regulators put more than 38 million acres in the central Gulf of Mexico up for bid to offshore energy producers.

The sale in New Orleans will begin at 9 a.m. today in the Superdome and include about 7,299 federally-owned drilling tracts, three to 230 miles off the coasts of Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi. The tracts are in water depths of nine to more than 11,115 feet.

It’s estimated the sale could lead to the production of 460 million to 890 million barrels of oil, and 1.9 trillion to 3.9 trillion cubic feet of gas.

After the sale, Salazar will travel to Louisiana’s Big Branch Marsh National Wildlife Refuge to see the progress of a marsh restoration project.

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