Tommy Beaudreau, director of the U.S. Interior Department's Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, said his agency should have enough information on hand to consider the east coast for a five-year lease plan beginning in 2017.
"You don't have to have a complete set of seismic data ... to schedule a sale," he said in an interview with the Platts energy news service published Tuesday.
In a five-year lease plan outlined in 2011, BOEM said the oil and natural gas potential in the Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf is not well understood and surveys of these areas are incomplete and out of date.
"We have a strategy for evaluating whether and, if so, under what configuration to have sales, but not all of that has to come together before you start scoping the next five year plan, which we're going to start in 2014," Beaudreau said.
Erik Milito, a director at the American Petroleum Institute, the energy industry's lobby, was quoted by Platts as saying his group was "concerned" about potential delays of an East Coast lease sale.