U.S. WANT MONEY
The U.S. government would get a larger share of oil and gas revenue from federal land under a proposal the Interior Department is expected to announce on Friday.
The federal government is entitled to a 12.5 percent share of oil and gas sold from federal land, chiefly in Western states. The stake for offshore drilling is usually set at 18.75 percent.
Friday's move will open a discussion with the energy industry, environmentalists and other stakeholders about how to set future royalty rates for onshore drilling, said a government official briefed on the proposal.
Oil and gas output has been climbing across the nation in recent years due to advanced drilling techniques. But most of that production is on private land in energy patches like North Dakota's Bakken or the Eagle Ford fields of Texas.
Increasing royalties will make sure taxpayers profit from the national energy renaissance. But new controls are also needed to protect federal land where drilling occurs, officials said.
Specifically, the Interior Department is considering whether to require energy companies to hold more cash or insurance to restore depleted drill sites and increase other drilling fees.
The proposal will be open for comment through at least the end of May and officials said they expect wide feedback.
Only about 5 percent of total U.S. oil production was on federal land in 2013, according to the latest available data from the Energy Information Administration.
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REUTERS - Brent crude futures LCOc1 were down 72 cents at $61.49 per barrel at 1020 GMT, having fallen by 1.5 percent on Tuesday, its largest one-day drop in a month. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude CLc1 was at $55.12 per barrel, down 58 cents.
BLOOMBERG - Prices dropped during the session as the International Energy Agency said the recent recovery in oil prices, coupled with milder-than-normal winter weather, is slowing demand growth. The worsening outlook for consumption dampened some of the enthusiasm that OPEC and its allies will extend supply curbs.
Global energy needs rise more slowly than in the past but still expand by 30% between today and 2040. This is the equivalent of adding another China and India to today’s global demand.
Product exports have grown significantly over the past several years and are expected to continue to grow as Russian refineries add capacity to produce more high-quality products.