MMS issued a final notice yesterday for Gulf of Mexico Oil and Gas Lease Sale 213 on March 17, 2010, in New Orleans, LA. Nearly 37 million acres will be offered for sale, which MMS estimates could produce approximately 0.8 to 1.3 billion barrels of oil and 3.3 to 5.4 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.  

The notice also announces the initial lease terms will be reduced as follows: leases in water depths between 1,312 feet to less than 2,625 feet will be 5 years rather than the previous 8-year term, and leases in water depths between 2,625 feet to less than 5,249 feel will be reduced to 7 years form the current 10-year term. Both lease terms could be extended by 3 years if the lessee starts an exploratory well.