Among the things that has made this country therefore successful is its bounteous natural resources. Among those resources are huge stores of mineral resources. Every year, a huge volume of natural gas and oil is produced in this country.
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The particular oil and gas companies often don’t own the land producing these resources; instead, they pay oil and gas royalties towards the landowners. Thus each landowner reaches retain ownership while leasing the development rights and enjoying the advantages of a steady royalty income.
Many of the lands being developed are federal gets, and the U. S. Department from the Interior is the recipient of those royalties. This includes both onshore and offshore leases. Unfortunately, problems have occured with the federal agencies responsible for handling these leases. A great number of the federal government employees running the leasing plan have been found to socialize and accept gifts from the oil and gas businesses with which they conduct official business.
There has recently been a bill introduced that will attempt to fix this conflict appealing. Nick Rahall (D-WV), the chairman of the House Energy and Natural Assets committee, would like to pass a bill in order to overhaul the royalty system on the federal level. The bill he has introduced would improve planning the introduction of offshore energy and create a new federal agency. This agency would combine energy programs now carried out simply by two separate agencies, as well as overseeing leasing mineral rights, enforcement of these leases, and the government’s royalty attention. The bill would attempt to eliminate conflict of interest by requiring annual certification of all employees that they are within compliance with ethics laws and regulations. Additional goals of the bill include pressuring oil and gas companies to develop leases faster, while improving the royalty collection process.
Should this bill move, it would not directly affect the private landowner who benefits from oil and gas royalties. It is aimed primarily at a more efficient, less conflicted use of these royalties on federal lands. However , an individual might benefit should this regulation be passed. First, if the oil and gas companies are pressured to develop leases faster, there may be less chance of leased land sitting unexplored or underutilized. 2nd, privately held land may become more appealing as more strings are attached to the use of federal lands. It remains to be seen what last form the bill might take and how it can affect all those involved in the production associated with minerals.