Royalty rule revival

Patrick Crow Washington, D.C. Just before leaving office last month, Minerals Management Service Director Cynthia Quarterman made a last-ditch attempt to save the complex royalty payment rule she had been pushing for 3 years. Producers say the rule is so unworkable it reminds them of the government's 1970s regulations setting myriad prices for crude, products, and natural gas. Those were regulatory nightmares; some of the oil price refund cases still are pending at the Department of Energy. MMS revised its royalty rule several times to remove some of the flaws, but producers say it still is far from workable. Last fall, oil-state co...

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