Unintentional Misconduct and Standardless Discretion: The Department of Interior’s New Rules for Valuing Oil, Gas and Coal

The Office of Natural Resources Revenue (ONRR) within the Department of the Interior issued new royalty valuation rules on July 1, 2016. Although the goal of the regulations is to simplify the calculation of royalties on federal oil, gas and coal, the 65 pages of rules please no one. Under a new definition for “misconduct,” […]

The KISS principle that systems perform best with simple rather than complex designscan apply in the world of legal drafting. This lesson was recently learned by lawyers who drafted a complex “work-around” to avoid a judicial interpretation of standard oil and gas lease royalty language on whether post-production costs should be included in the royalty […]

As promised by Secretary Jewell in March, see previous post, BLM is initiating a rulemaking process– Announcement of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR)– to “solicit public comments and suggestions that may be used to update the BLM’s regulations related to royalty rates, annual rental payments, minimum acceptable bids, bonding requirements, and civil penalty assessments for Federal onshore […]