The Department of Interior announced September 25 a 38 million acre oil and gas lease sale – the third major lease in the Gulf of Mexico this year. The area was identified in the agency’s five-year drilling plan. The same day, the Bureau of Land Management announced that it would auction off drilling rights for oil and gas properties in Alaska’s National Petroleum Reserve, the second time this year. The new sale includes 400 tracts covering 4.5 million acres.