House bill reintroduced to recover lost offshore royalties

Nick Snow
OGJ Washington Editor

WASHINGTON, DC, Jan. 28 -- Two US House members reintroduced legislation that they said could recover as much as $54 billion in federal offshore royalty payments that were mistakenly exempt in the late 1990s.

The measure would require producers that hold such leases to renegotiate terms before being able to bid on newly offered tracts. The leases originally were issued without a requirement to pay federal royalties to stimulate Gulf of Mexico deepwater exploration and development. They were erroneously exempted from royalty payments when price thresholds were omitted from 1996 to 2000.

“Instead of oil companies drilling for free on public land, we should be drilling for deficit dollars by fixing this taxpayer rip-off,” said Rep. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), who chairs the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming. “Half of our trade deficit in 2008 was from buying foreign oil, and $54 billion of our national budget deficit could be solved by keeping oil companies honest.”

The bill’s cosponsor, Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), who co-chairs the bipartisan Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Caucus, said that the bill would close what he termed a “costly, special interest loophole.”

Contact Nick Snow at

Did You Like this Article? Get All the Energy Industry News Delivered to Your Inbox

Subscribe to an email newsletter today at no cost and receive the latest news and information.

 Subscribe Now


Maximizing Operational Excellence

In a recent survey conducted by PennEnergy Research, 70% of surveyed energy industry professional...

Leveraging the Power of Information in the Energy Industry

Information Governance is about more than compliance. It’s about using your information to drive ...

Reduce Engineering Project Complexity

Engineering document management presents unique and complex challenges. A solution based in Enter...

Revolutionizing Asset Management in the Electric Power Industry

With the arrival of the Industrial Internet of Things, data is growing and becoming more accessib...

Latest PennEnergy Jobs

PennEnergy Oil & Gas Jobs