GAO: Interior Miscounts Oil and Gas Production on Federal Leases

"Interior Department policies don't ensure accurate measurement of oil and gas production on federal leases that generates billions of dollars in royalty payments each year, according to a government audit released today.

Limited oversight, gaps in staff skills, failure to update measurement regulations, inconsistent policies, lack of coordination and a failure to determine its authority over key oil and gas infrastructure have hindered Interior's ability to accurately verify production levels, the Government Accountability Office found.

And despite years of critical reviews by GAO and others, Interior recently lowered its own estimation of the risks of the onshore oil and gas program from medium to low, exempting it from more rigorous internal oversight, GAO said."

Noelle Straub reports for Greenwire April 14, 2010.

Friday, April 16, 2010