U.S. Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Access
The Outer Continental Shelf refers to all submerged lands lying seaward of state coastal waters that are under jurisdiction of the federal government.
In January 2018, the U.S. Department of the Interior released a proposal for a five-year offshore oil and natural gas leasing plan that included all available planning areas, including the Arctic, Atlantic, Pacific and the entire Gulf of Mexico.
Click here to read ExxonMobil’s letter to the U.S. Department of the Interior expressing support for the proposed five-year leasing plan and providing suggestions on potential improvements to leasing terms and structure.
The U.S. Department of the Interior plans to release the next iteration of the five-year offshore leasing plan in early 2019. Once it is released, the public will have 60 days to provide comments on the proposed plan, including on the areas scheduled for lease sales.
- Approximately 95 percent of OCS land is currently unavailable to oil and natural gas leasing, leaving a large portion of American energy resources untapped.
- Recent studies estimate that leasing and developing all offshore areas could support nearly 750,000 new jobs, generate nearly $200 billion in cumulative revenue for federal and state governments, and contribute more than $60 billion per year to the U.S. economy.
- Oil and natural gas will continue to supply over 60% of Americans’ energy for at least the next thirty years, so the ability to safely and responsibly explore our nation’s homegrown energy resources is a critical part of advancing the long-term energy security of the U.S.