ANCHORAGE (AP) -- An agency is starting the process of preparing a new, five-year Outer Continental Shelf oil and gas leasing program.
The Minerals Management Service said a 1998 presidential directive means that certain OCS areas off the Pacific and Atlantic coasts, a portion of the area off Florida in the Gulf of Mexico and the North Aleutian Basin off Alaska have been withdrawn from oil and gas leasing from July of 2002 to July of 2007.
The OCS oil and gas leasing program for 2002 through 2007 will be the sixth such program prepared since the OCS Lands Act requirement was enacted in 1978. The program establishes the size, timing, and location of OCS oil and gas leasing activity for the period it covers.
Officials with the federal Minerals Management Service said they will hold public hearings on the proposed program once it's drafted.
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