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Bureau of Ocean Energy Management

Department of the Interior, 1849 C Street NW., Washington, DC 20240-0001


DIRECTOR *Amanda Lefton

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management manages development of U.S. Outer Continental Shelf energy and mineral resources in a way that is environmentally and economically responsible.


In April of 2010, the Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion and resulting oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico exposed inadequacies in the Federal offshore energy regulatory system. In response to the disaster, former Secretary of the Interior Kenneth L. Salazar issued two secretarial orders. On May 19, 2010, he issued Order 3299 "to separate and reassign the responsibilities that had been conducted by the Minerals Management Service [MMS] into new management structures that will improve the management, oversight, and accountability of activities on the Outer Continental Shelf [OCS]."

Within the Department of the Interior, Order 3299 initiated the establishment of the new Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), whose director would report to the Assistant Secretary–Land and Minerals Management. The order also initiated the establishment of the new Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE), whose director also would report to the same Assistant Secretary. A third new agency, the Office of Natural Resources Revenue, formerly the MMS's minerals revenue management program, would be established within the Department, and its director would report to a different Assistant Secretary.

On June 18, 2010, former Secretary Salazar issued Order 3302, which announced that the MMS would be renamed the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE) for the duration of the reorganization period.

On October 1, 2011, BOEMRE rules and regulations that now applied to the BOEM were recodified in a new chapter by reorganization of 30 CFR. The establishment of the BOEM and its sibling the BSEE and the recodification of their respective rules and regulations in a revised second chapter and a newly added fifth chapter marked the completion of the reorganization of the former MMS.

The BOEM posts an organizational chart on its website.


Statutory material that affects mineral lands and mining is codified in 30 U.S.C. Chapter 26 of that title deals with deep seabed hard mineral resources.

Statutory material that affects public lands is codified in 43 U.S.C. Chapter 36 of that title deals with management of OCS resources.

BOEM rules and regulations are codified in chapter V, parts 500–599, of 30 CFR.


The BOEM manages the exploration and development of offshore energy and marine mineral resources on the OCS. The BOEM supports energy independence, environmental protection, and economic development by responsibly managing these offshore resources in ways that comport with the best available science.

The OCS is a significant source of oil and gas for the Nation’s energy supply. OCS production accounts for about 18 percent of domestic crude oil and 4 percent of domestic natural gas supply. The BOEM manages about 2,674 active oil and gas leases on more than 14.2 million OCS acres. In fiscal year 2019, offshore Federal production reached approximately 683 million barrels of oil and 1.03 trillion cubic feet of gas, almost all of which was produced in the Gulf of Mexico.

The BOEM manages offshore development of renewable energy in Federal waters. The renewable energy program began in 2009, when the Department of the Interior announced the final regulations for the OCS Renewable Energy Program, which the Energy Policy Act of 2005 had authorized. The regulations provide a framework for all of the activities that support the production and transmission of energy from sources other than oil and natural gas. The BOEM anticipates managing the development of more hydrokinetic and more offshore wind and solar energy on the OCS.

The BOEM's environmental program covers the three major areas that the agency regulates on the OCS: oil and gas, renewable energy, and nonenergy minerals like sand, gravel, and hard minerals. The Office of Environmental Programs develops national policy, provides guidance, and coordinates with regional activities. The environmental program’s two key functions are to support science and to conduct environmental assessments, which include consultations with stakeholders and other regulatory agencies to strengthen decision making. The Chief Environmental Officer also manages and leads engagement and consultation at the national and regional levels with federally recognized Tribes.

The BOEM partners with communities through its marine minerals program to address erosion along the Nation's barrier islands, coastal beaches, dunes, and wetlands. Erosion affects defense, energy, natural resources, public infrastructure, and tourism. To mitigate the effects of erosion, the BOEM leases gravel and sand and shell resources for nourishing beaches, protecting shorelines, and restoring wetlands. These resources are extracted from Federal waters on the OCS with environmental and safety oversight. The Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (PL 83–212) provides the authority to manage minerals on the OCS and the requirement to provide environmental oversight. BOEM is the only Federal agency with the authority to lease marine minerals from the OCS.

Sources of Information

Archived Records

The "Guide to Federal Records in the National Archives of the United States" indicates that MMS records have been assigned to record group 473. The MMS is the predecessor agency to the BOEM. See the above "Establishment and Organization" section.

Business Opportunities

Information on doing business with the BOEM and related links are available on the "Procurement Business Opportunities" website.


The BOEM maintains an online events calendar.

Career Opportunities

The BOEM relies on professionals with engineering and science backgrounds for ensuring the safe and environmentally responsible development of the Nation's offshore energy and marine mineral resources.

In 2020, the BOEM ranked 58th among 411 agency subcomponents in the Partnership for Public Service's Best Places To Work Agency Rankings.

Contact Information

Information is available on the "Contact Us" web page.

Educational Resources

BOEM teacher resources are available online.


The BOEM posts factsheets on the following topics: about the agency, environment, marine minerals, oil and gas energy, and renewable energy.

Federal Register

Significant documents, from 1995 (volume 60) to the present, and recent documents that the BOEM has published in the Federal Register are available online.

Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)

Effective on July 5, 1967, the FOIA gives any person a right to obtain access to Federal agency records; however, nine exemptions and three special law enforcement exclusions shield certain records, or parts of them, from public disclosure. A FOIA request may be made for any agency record. Instructions for submitting a BOEM record request under the FOIA are available online. The BOEM operates a FOIA requester service center. Phone, 703-787-1128.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

The BOEM posts answers to FAQs.


The BOEM has posted a glossary of ecological terms.

The BOEM has posted a glossary of terms that are associated with wind energy.

Greenhouse Gas Emissions

BOEM OCS Report 2016–065, whose authors are E. Wolvovsky. and W. Anderson, is titled "OCS Oil and Natural Gas: Potential Lifecycle Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Social Cost of Carbon." The report's key findings are the following: Most lifecycle greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are the result of oil and gas products consumption; the price of oil and gas and production volume have a large effect on the amount of oil and gas lifecycle GHG emissions; the magnitude of emissions and their related social costs are comparable for the 2017–2022 program and the 2017–2022 program's "No Action Alternative"; the production of oil and gas from other global sources can be more carbon-intense relative to oil and gas that are produced on the OCS; absent policy changes or technological advancements, OCS emissions could consume a measurable increment of the remaining worldwide and domestic GHG emissions budget.

Historic Preservation

Archaeologists in Office of Renewable Energy Programs coordinate studies and conduct National Historic Preservation Act reviews to identify and protect archaeological sites and other historic properties. OCS historic properties include aircraft, lighthouses, precontact (European contact with Native Americans) archaeological sites, and shipwrecks. Historic properties onshore come under review when a proposed renewable energy project may affect them. To learn more about investigating the steamship "City of Houston" and German submarine "U–576" and other preservation activities, visit the "Historic Preservation Activities" web page.


The BOEM website has an electronic library.

Marine Minerals

Mineral resources from the OCS are used in coastal restoration projects to address erosion. The BOEM has conveyed rights to millions of cubic yards of OCS sand for coastal restoration projects in multiple States. These projects have restored hundreds of miles of the Nation's coastline, protecting both infrastructure and ecological habitat. The BOEM posts key marine mineral statistics on its website. | Email:

Oil / Gas

The BOEM has posted the 2017–2022 lease sale schedule and 2017–2022 quicklinks on its "Leasing" web page.


Colorful BOEM posters that promote maritime history, ocean science and stewardship, and awareness of marine animals and their habitats are available from the Gulf of Mexico Public Information Office. Phone, 800-200-4853.

Press Releases

The BOEM posts press releases.

Regional Offices

The BOEM operates three regional offices, one for the Alaska Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) region, one for the Pacific OCS region, and one for the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic OCS regions. Phone, 907-334-5200 (Alaska). Phone, 805-384-6305 (Pacific). Phone, 800-200-4853 (Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic).

Renewable Energy

A list of leases that the BOEM has executed since the inception of its renewable energy program is available online.

The BOEM collaborates with States on offshore energy development and is in the process of coordinating Federal-State task forces in certain coastal States. A summary of the status of activity in the various States is available online.

Science / Technology

"Ocean Science" is BOEM's science and technology journal. The agency is a leading contributor to the growing body of scientific knowledge on the Nation's marine and coastal environments.


The BOEM Alaskan shipwreck table is the most comprehensive compilation of Alaskan shipwrecks to date. The table offers a list of wrecks that occurred in Alaskan waters from 1741 to 2011. The "Shipwrecks Off Alaska's Coast" web page also features maritime history, ship, and shipwreck links to external websites.

Site Map

The website map helps visitors find specific topics or allows them to browse the site's contents.

Social Media

The BOEM maintains a Facebook account.

The BOEM tweets announcements and other newsworthy items on Twitter.

The BOEM has a YouTube channel.

Statistics / Facts

BOEM collects data on its offshore oil and gas energy programs and makes them available in multiple formats.