Summary: H.R.1975 — 104th Congress (1995-1996)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Passed House amended (07/16/1996)

Federal Oil and Gas Royalty Simplification and Fairness Act of 1996 - Amends the Federal Oil and Gas Royalty Management Act of 1982 to revise and expand the guidelines under which the authorities of the Secretary of the Interior for collection of oil and gas receipts and related activities may be delegated to a State upon its request. Provides for judicial review of any Secretarial action to approve or disapprove a State proposal.

Sets a seven-year statute of limitations for any judicial proceeding or demand arising from a royalty obligation. Prescribes procedural guidelines for Secretarial and delegated States' actions and limitation periods, including royalty adjustments and refunds.

Sets forth royalty terms, interest on royalty overpayments (except deliberate, excessive overpayments whose sole purpose is to receive such interest), penalties, and assessments.

Prescribes procedural guidelines under which the Secretary and the State concerned shall jointly determine on a case by case basis the amount of production from marginal properties that shall be subject to prepayment or regulatory relief. Permits the Secretary's sole determination if the royalty payments are not shared with any State.

Renders inapplicable except to Indian leases: (1) the current statute of limitations governing the recovery of penalties; and (2) the Secretary's authority to enter into cooperative agreements with any State (or Indian tribe) with respect to oil or gas royalty activities.

Amends the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act to repeal the guidelines governing refunds or credit granted to a lessee for excess payments.

Excludes Indian lands and privately owned minerals from the purview of this Act.