MMS adjusts relief for offshore fields

The U.S. Minerals Management Service has altered two of its policies to help keep offshore fields in production during the current oil price slump. For the second time in 5 months, MMS devalued the price forecasts it applies when it considers leaseholders' applications for deepwater royalty relief. Operators of fields in more than 200 m of water in the central and western Gulf of Mexico can apply for a suspension of royalty payments upon demonstrating economic need. The agency also revised its guidelines for leaseholders applying for end-of-life royalty relief. Under the old process, a lessee that has invested significant resources to reduce production costs would be ...

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