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Trump administration reduces royalty rates in first U.S. oil, gas lease sale

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Trump administration announced its first offshore oil and gas lease sale on Thursday, offering 76 million acres in the Gulf of Mexico and reduced royalty rates for shallow water leases to encourage drilling at a time of low oil prices.

U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said the sale to take place on August 16 will offer leases offshore Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida for exploration and development. The sale will be the first of the administration’s 2017-22 National Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program.

Zinke signed an order last week to hold more lease sales and speed up approvals of permits to explore for oil and gas, a process he said got bogged down under former president Barack Obama.

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Written by Timothy Gardner for Reuters.com

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