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

Related Articles

Environmental groups to challenge FWS’s lesser prairie chicken ruling

04/11/2014 Three environmental organizations notified the US Fish and Wildlife Service that they plan to sue over the US Department of the Interior agency’s r...

Heitkamp leads Senate Democrats’ new push for Keystone XL approval

04/10/2014 Ten other US Senate Democrats joined Heidi Heitkamp (ND) in urging US President Barack Obama to approve the proposed Keystone XL crude oil pipeline...

GlobalData: US needs to ‘fast-track’ LNG exports to compete in global market

04/09/2014 The US’s lack of approved export terminals has prevented energy companies from competing in the growing global LNG market, despite the fact that th...

US House subcommittee passes bill to facilitate LNG exports

04/09/2014 A US House Energy and Commerce Committee subcommittee voted to forward a bill aimed at facilitating approvals of US LNG exports to the full committ...

Careers at TOTAL

Careers at TOTAL - Videos

More than 600 job openings are now online, watch videos and learn more!


Click Here to Watch

Other Oil & Gas Industry Jobs

Search More Job Listings >>
Stay Connected