Proposal may double inspection fees on rigs

September 14, 2010 4:31:59 AM PDT
A new proposal from the Obama administration could have a big impact on Houston-based companies. The White House now wants to double the fees the government charges oil and gas companies to inspect their offshore operations. In a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, President Obama outlined the need for $100 million from Congress and he plans to offset that funding by reforming oversight of the oil and gas industry.

The President says the $100 million will go into the Interior Department, which is the agency that oversees offshore drilling. It underwent a lot of reorganization in the wake of the Gulf oil spill from earlier this year.

Right now, the government collects $20 million in fees from oil and gas companies. If this proposal is approved next year, they'd collect $45 million.

The president says the fee hikes and other changes are necessary to strengthen oversight of offshore oil and gas operations, address 'deficiencies' in mineral revenue collection and complete the re-organization of the agency formerly known as the Mineral Management Services.

All of this is happening while BP crews resumed drilling a relief well in the Gulf and as scientists and officials with the Louisiana National Guard say oil continues to wash up on marshes.


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