The Gulf of Mexico could see its first two wind energy areas (WEAs) established this year, kick-starting development in a stalwart region for the oil and gas sector with huge potential to supply the wider US offshore wind industry.

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), regulator of energy development on the federal outer continental shelf (OCS), last week identified the first two draft WEAs in the US Gulf — one off the coast of Louisiana, the other offshore Texas — that could host a combined 15 gigawatts of offshore wind plant.