Official Knew About Oil Lease Mistake 3 Years Ago

Law360, New York (January 17, 2007, 12:00 AM EST) -- The United States Department of the Interior knew at least three years ago about a contract blunder that allowed oil companies to sidestep billions of dollars in royalties for resources pumped from publicly owned waters, an independent investigator has found.

A report by the Interior Department’s independent investigator, submitted on Tuesday, said that members of the DOI knew about a mistake in more than 1,000 offshore drilling leases signed in 1998 and 1999 that will cost the government billions in royalties.

These contracts had a lucrative...
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