WATCHING WASHINGTON ROYALTY CUT FOR STRIPPER OIL

With Patrick Crow The Bureau of Land Management last week issued a final rule cutting its royalty rate on stripper well production. Although stripper wells represent 15,000 of the 22,000 wells on federal land, they are responsible for only one sixth of the 121 million bbl/year of production. And they are rapidly being abandoned because they are uneconomic to operate at today's prices. Effective Sept. 12, the current 12.5% royalty will be cut to 0.5% for the first 1 b/d of production plus

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