Today, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke announced the Department will disburse over $82 million to Louisiana and its coastal political subdivisions (CPS). This represents the first disbursement under Phase-II of the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act of 2006 (GOMESA). The funds are derived from oil and gas exploration on the Outer Continental Shelf, from the majority of leases issued since the passing of GOMESA on December 20, 2006. Following the announcement, Gov. John Bel Edwards released the following statement:
“The people of LA have waited for over ten years for Phase II of GOMESA to begin and for our state to start receiving a larger portion of the revenues derived off of our coast,” said Gov. Edwards. “This revenue stream is one we have planned our coastal program around, and we are happy to finally be able to put it to use to help address our land loss crisis. A healthy coast is absolutely essential to a healthy oil and gas industry in Louisiana, as well as our economy overall. The dedication of these funds to address our coastal issues is the smartest investment we can make.”
During FY2017, ONRR disbursed almost $67 million to the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) and almost $268 million to the U.S. Treasury from bonuses, rentals, and royalties paid for GOMESA leases. As required by the legislation, disbursements to the LWCF and Treasury are made in the same year as the year of receipt; disbursements to the States and CPS are made in the year following the year of receipt.
The $82 million disbursed to Louisiana and its CPS in FY 2018 compares to the almost $12 million disbursed in Phase-I of GOMESA from FY 2009 through FY 2017. The increase in disbursements is attributable to the significantly larger number of leases whose revenues are shared under Phase-II of GOMESA.
The FY 2017 disbursement detail will be published on Interior’s Office of Natural Resources Revenue (ONRR) website at: https://www.onrr.gov on April 26, 2018.