Dynamic Homes
Advertise:   ads@blueearthmarketing.com   712.224.5420

Trust
Oil companies fall behind on royalty payments


More than three dozen oil companies fell behind on nearly $500 million in royalty payments for drilling on public lands, The New York Times reports.

Interior Department regulations allow the companies to claim "incentives" when the price for oil stays below a certain "threshold." But some of the companies sought about $493 million in "royalty relief" in 2004 even though the prices for oil and gas were at record levels.

Interior was able to reclaim most of the payments from the companies but $60 million remains in dispute, The Times said. Some of the companies don't think they owe the money.

The Times previously reported that the Bush administration's lax oversight of the oil and gas industry has resulted in a loss of $700 million in natural gas royalties because Interior regulations allow energy companies to understate their sale prices for gas.

At the budget rollout this past Monday, Interior Secretary Gale Norton said the story was riddled with inaccuracies.

Get the Story:
Oil Giants Fell Behind on Fees (The New York Times 2/10)
pwnyt

Related Stories:
DOI allows underpayment of natural gas royalties (01/24)
Editorial: Interior's endless charade on Indian trust (06/10)
OST fares no better under Ross Swimmer's leadership (6/7)
Bush administration won't give up fight on Cobell (03/18)
McCain weighs GAO probe of Indian trust debacle (03/10)
Norton won't testify on trust fund retaliation (2/28)
Lamberth takes action on Cobell trust lawsuit (2/24)
Bush official won't accept claims of trust mismanagement (02/17)
Swimmer admits some Navajo appraisals too low (12/13)
DOI was warned on appraisals of Navajo lands (12/6)
Lamberth critical of Norton's 'bad faith' on trust fund (10/25)
Interior denies attempt to halt trust fund payments (10/05)
Bush administration challenges trust fund ruling (09/16)
Appeals court takes on Cobell trust fund case (9/15)
Bush administration calls for end to Cobell case (04/09)
Trust fund special master alleges government fraud (04/07)
Cobell trust fund suit mediators announced (4/6)
Navajo landowners question BIA agreement with company (10/21)
Retaliation alleged in firing of trust fund manager (09/18)
Court report finds undervaluation of Navajo lands (08/21)
Navajo trust fund manager targeted in internal probe (07/15)
DOI employees falsified Navajo trust data (06/11)
Navajo leaders criticize upheaval at trust fund office (05/09)