US Interior to Collect Billions from New O&G Fees in 2010

Dow Jones Newswires

WASHINGTON (Dow Jones Newswires), Jun. 3, 2009

The U.S Interior Department has projected $14 billion in revenue collections for fiscal-year 2010, stemming from several new and increased fees.

A new fee on non-producing Gulf of Mexico offshore oil and gas leases would increase revenue by requiring lease holders to pay $4 per acre when leases are in non-producing status, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said in prepared testimony before a subcommittee of the Senate Appropriations Committee on Wednesday.

The hearing addressed the Interior Department's fiscal-year 2010 budget proposal.

Salazar also said oil-and-gas royalty reform, a new fee for offshore facility inspection and an increased fee for processing onshore oil-and-gas applications will also affect 2010 revenue for the department.

The subcommittee hearing comes on the backdrop of calls for oil-industry reform and follows the circulation of a proposal by congressional Democrats to raise fees on the oil-and-gas industry. Democrats are proposing an 18.75% increase in the minimum royalty rate for onshore leases. The proposal would increase by 50% the current royalty rate of 12.5%.

Salazar said the department is reviewing current royalty policies.  

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