The US government’s Bureau of Ocean Energy management (BOEM) is moving to avoid repeats of disruptive demonstrations by environmentalists by making its next big round of leases available online only rather than in public auction.
BOEM said on Friday that the August offering of more than 23.8m acres of oil and gas offshore Texas in the Western Gulf of Mexico Planning Area would be live streamed online.
That will end the custom of public auctions that has been targeted by protesters before. At a previous auction a mini melee occurred.
Officials cite concerns for possible personal injuries as one of the motives behind the high tech move, but also say it offers more transparency and can reach a wider audience.
Part of the Department of the Interior since being established in 2010, BOEM manages the exploration and development of the nation’s offshore energy and mineral resources.
The August 24 offering to be broadcast on the web will be the final one in the administration of President Barack Obama and follows a series of sales that were disappointing because of the oil-price drop.