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Mineral royalty payout up $23 million in Wyoming from 2011

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The Office of Natural Resources Revenue – or ONRR – saw a $1 billion increase in revenue from energy production on public lands. Wyoming’s share was more than $995 million – up from last year by more than $23 million.

With a growing quantity of coal being exported abroad, there’s some concern that companies are paying royalties using low, domestic rates for exports instead of the higher price sales abroad fetch to calculate their due share. ONRR spokesman Patrick Etchart says the agency audits companies, though not every year.

“ONNR receives and reviews actual sales contracts between coal companies and the customers as a further check. We use this information as part of our compliance and audit checks on these coal sales.”    

Etchart says ONRR’s valuation rules are mostly from the 1980s and are currently undergoing revision to update and simplify the rules and keep up with the evolving industry.

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