Oil and Gas Sector – HELP, Open Acreage Policy, etc.

Places in news: Gulf of Mexico


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Gulf of Mexico

Mains level : NA

An oil spill spanning at least 10 miles has been captured by satellite imagery in waters off the Louisiana coast near the Gulf of Mexico.

Gulf of Mexico

  • The Gulf of Mexico is an ocean basin and a marginal sea of the Atlantic Ocean, largely surrounded by the North American continent.
  • It is bounded on the northeast, north and northwest by the Gulf Coast of the United States; on the southwest and south by the Mexican states of Tamaulipas, Veracruz, Tabasco, Campeche, Yucatan, and Quintana Roo; and on the southeast by Cuba.
  • The US states of Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida, which border the Gulf on the north, are often referred to as the “Third Coast” of the United States (in addition to its Atlantic and Pacific coasts).
  • It is covered with a tangle of pipes, wells and other energy infrastructure, much of it no longer used, as a result of generations of oil extraction there.

Its formation

  • The Gulf of Mexico took shape approximately 300 million years ago as a result of plate tectonics.
  • Its floor consists of sedimentary rocks and recent sediments.
  • It is connected to the part of the Atlantic Ocean through the Florida Straits between the US and Cuba, and with the Caribbean Sea via the Yucatán Channel between Mexico and Cuba.
  • Because of its narrow connection to the Atlantic Ocean, the Gulf experiences very small tidal ranges.

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