WATCHING GOVERNMENT: Royalty relief

01/27/2003
The US District Court, Western District of Louisiana, ruled Jan. 8 that the US Department of the Interior's Minerals Management Service has been misinterpreting deepwater royalty relief rules.Three producers, Devon Energy Corp., Ocean Energy Inc., and Santa Fe Snyder Corp. (now part of Devon) sued Interior in July 2000 when MMS tried to collect royalties from a Mississippi Canyon lease issued in 1997.The companies argued that MMS ignored the intent of Congress by arbitrarily deciding that new production relief should be based on a field instead of a lease.Producers also disputed MMS's claim that the disputed tract off Louisiana was an existing lease, rather than a new lease.At sta...
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