MMS reports record disbursals during fiscal 2008

The US Minerals Management Service disbursed a record $23.4 billion to state, American Indian, and federal accounts from onshore and offshore energy production during fiscal 2008, Interior Secretary Dirk A. Kempthorne said on Nov. 20.

Nick Snow
Washington Editor

WASHINGTON, DC, Nov. 20 -- The US Minerals Management Service disbursed a record $23.4 billion to state, American Indian, and federal accounts from onshore and offshore energy production during fiscal 2008, Interior Secretary Dirk A. Kempthorne said on Nov. 20.

Disbursements from royalties, rents, and bonuses from production on federal land shattered the fiscal 2007 total of $11.6 billion and broke the previous record of $12.8 billion established in 2006, he added.

"Particularly in today's economic environment, these revenues represent an increasingly important source of funding for many federal, state, and tribal budgets," Kempthorne said. Funds disbursed to individual states and tribes support projects ranging from infrastructure improvements and capital works to funding for education, he noted.

Kempthorne attributed the record disbursements to higher energy prices during the 12 months ended Sept. 30, 2008, and the more than $10 billion in bonus bids paid by companies to lease tracts in the Gulf of Mexico and offshore Alaska as well as from onshore lease sales.

As part of the total, a record $2.59 billion was distributed to 35 states as their share of federal revenue collected from energy production within their borders; $17.3 billion went to the US Treasury, and $534 million went to 34 Indian tribes and 30,000 individual Indian owners, MMS said.

Wyoming led the states receiving payments at more than $1.27 billion, followed by Colorado at nearly $178.38 million, Utah at nearly $173.84 million, and California at nearly $103.45 million, the agency indicated.

American Petroleum Institute President Jack N. Gerard said the record payments demonstrate the importance of domestic oil and gas production to the US economy. "These revenues are only a fraction of the economic benefits states receive from oil and gas development. This development also provides well-paying jobs and a big boost to the local economies in the form of increased retail sales and other business opportunities," he observed.

"Imagine how much more revenue and jobs could be generated for the benefit of all Americans if Congress and the Obama administration listen to the American people and put America's vast oil and gas resources, including those that have been subject to federal moratoriums, to good use to strengthen our nation's economy and energy security. Given what we know about our nation's potential resources, total royalties that could be collected over the life of all our nation's resources could reach $880 billion," Gerard said.

Contact Nick Snow at nicks@pennwell.com

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