February 28, 2018 / 10:44 PM / 2 years ago

U.S. Interior panel votes for lower federal offshore oil and gas royalties

WASHINGTON, Feb 28 (Reuters) - A U.S. Department of the Interior committee voted on Wednesday to recommend to Secretary Ryan Zinke that the agency lower royalty rates for federal offshore oil and gas drilling to 12.5 percent from 18.75 percent through 2024, to spur more production.

The agency’s royalty policy committee, consisting of department officials, state and tribal officials and energy companies, voted unanimously to lower the rates, which were set during the administration of former President George W. Bush.

The panel also voted to increase the amount of acreage available for offshore oil and natural gas leasing in the outer continental shelf. (Reporting By Valerie Volcovici, Editing by Rosalba O’Brien)

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