Interior plans tougher energy royalty audits

MMS has a lot to watch over – the agency said it receives monthly royalties from roughly 2,000 energy companies and people covering almost 30,000 leases.

Royalties from oil-and-gas production are a major source of non-tax revenue. But a series of reports by Interior’s inspector general and the Government Accountability Office in recent years highlighted numerous flaws in royalty collections.

Interior collected roughly $10 billion in royalties and other revenues from energy development on federal and American Indian lands in fiscal year 2009, although a portion is provided to states and tribes.