The announcement is getting mixed reaction from the oil industry.
"It's good news," President of the Louisiana Mid-Continent Oil and Gas Association Chris John said. "Good news is we're having a lease sale."
He says it shows the Obama administration is moving forward with development in the Gulf after the oil disaster. He takes issue, however, with the extent the White House says it is moving forward.
"The Obama Administration is fully committed to developing our domestic energy resources to create jobs, foster economic opportunities, and reduce America's dependence on foreign oil," Energy Secretary Ken Salazar said in a news release. "Exploration and development of the Gulf of Mexico's vital energy resources will continue to help power our nation and drive our economy."
John has a problem with Salazar saying he is "fully committed to... domestic energy."
"Being fully committed to me is opening up all areas," he insisted. "Fully might not be the proper word."
He says they want to see additional drilling in the eastern portions of the Gulf, parts of the Atlantic and parts of the Pacific.
"The dark side of it is that this five year leasing plan does not include any acreage in any new areas," John explained.
The White House insists, however that under the President's leadership, domestic oil and gas production has grown each year he has been in office, with domestic oil production currently higher than any time in nearly a decade and natural gas production at its highest level ever.
The news release says, "Foreign oil imports now account for less than 50 percent of the oil consumed in America - the lowest level since 1995."
The Obama administration says the Central Gulf lease sale could lead to the production of nearly one billion barrels of oil and almost 4 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.