department has a nondiscretionary duty under the DWRRA to provide
Section 304 of the DWRRA, which addresses deepwater leases (125)
issued within five years after the DWRRA's enactment, directs that
the OCSLA, as amended by the DWRRA. Section 304 of the DWRRA also
The court found that the DWRRA allowed only for volumetric
DWRRA provides for "fields" (10) with eligible leases to receive royalty suspensions for specific volumes of production at specified depths (Table 1).
Interest surged after enactment of DWRRA, with 3,000 deepwater leases bid between 1996 and 1999.
Although DWRRA spurred a surge of interest in deepwater oil and gas development, major production directly related to the act's incentives has yet to be realized.
According to the Minerals Management Service, although the Secretary of the Interior is not required to impose price thresholds in each lease (but has the discretion to do so), all lease sales held since the enactment of DWRRA included price thresholds except those held in 1998 and 1999.
Also within the Deepwater category are "Pre-Act" leases (lease sales held before November 1995), Post-2000 leases (lease sales held after November 2000), and Leases classified as Expansion Projects, all of which can qualify for royalty relief under DWRRA with an application demonstrating economic need.
In 2004, of the 1,667 leases producing in the GOM, 30 qualified as eligible leases under DWRRA. Since 2004, oil and gas prices rose above the price thresholds, and full payment of royalties became due on 10 of those leases that were issued in 1996, 1997, and 2000.
Minimum Royalty Suspension Volumes Per Lease DWRRA 1995 (P.L.104-58) Barrels of Oil Equivalent Depth (in millions) 200-400 meters 17.5 400-800 meters 52.5 > 800 meters 87.5 -- -- Energy Policy Act 2005 (P.L.