WATCHING WASHINGTON CUTTING ROYALTIES

With Patrick Crow Next month President Bush is expected to issue an order reducing the 12.5% royalty for marginal wells on federal land by at least half. Cy Jamison, Bureau of Land Management director, says the action will help keep 20,000 marginal (15 b/d or less) and enhanced recovery wells on production. The order will not include gas wells. Decisions to cut royalties will be made lease by lease rather than well by well. Jamison predicts the action will increase federal revenues because

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