Federal resource royalties by sector

Revenues from the sale of natural resources on Federal lands totaled $127.4 billion between 2003 and 2013.

These revenues are made up of:

  • royalties of $98.8 billion,
  • bonuses of $24.8 billion,
  • rents of $3.2 billion, and
  • other revenues of $684 million.

Explore resource royalties by sector on the right, or read more about U.S. natural resource sectors such as oil, natural gas, coal, wind and geothermal energy.

Choose a commodity

Chart notes.

Calendar year 2003 – 2013 data. Chart data available here.
Categories: coal, gas, geothermal, oil, other.

How do natural resources become Federal revenue?

If there are natural resources under (or even suspected of being under) approved Federal lands, the U.S. Department of the Interior or the U.S. Department of Agriculture issues leases to explore for and extract these products for sale.

In return, part of the sales value for many commodities is paid to the Federal government for the benefit of the American people. These are called “royalties.” There are other revenues involved, such as rents, bonuses, fees, and penalties, but by far most of the money comes from royalties.

Federal resource royalties by location

Map notes.

Calendar year 2013 data. Map data available here.

  1. Oil. Royalties. Includes various crude oil products such as condensate, drip and scrubber condensate, and fuel oil.
  2. Gas. Royalties. Includes various natural gas products such as processed and unprocessed gas, natural gas liquids (NGL), nitrogen, flash gas, fuel gas, and coal bed methane.
  3. Coal. Royalties. Includes various processed and unprocessed coal products such as anthracite, bituminous, subbituminous, and lignite.
  4. Other. Royalties. Includes a wide variety of solid minerals and other products such as carbon dioxide, phosphate, soda ash, salt, potash, and langbeinite.
  1. Wind. Bonus and rents from offshore wind turbine projects. These leases have not started producing in paying quanitities so there are no royalties yet.
  2. Geothermal. Royalties. Includes royalties from geothermal electrical generation and the resulting byproducts.
  3. Negative values. Companies can adjust and correct their payments for up to seven years after a transaction takes place. If a company overpays their royalty, rent, or bonus, they are entitled to recoup their overpayment. If the overpayment and recoupment happen in different years, the recoupment will appear as a negative amount in the Office of Natural Resource Revenue's revenue summaries.

Where do these revenues go?

The answer is: it depends

Laws treat revenues from offshore natural resources and onshore natural resources differently. There are set percentages and amounts from each that go certain places every year.

Laws also treat different commodities differently. For example, for oil and gas, Federal and local governments get royalties that are a percentage of sales. For many minerals such as gold, copper and silver, the governments get mining claim fees but no ongoing royalties.

Federal revenue disbursements by fund

revenues go toward:

Hover over a circle to see revenue totals.
Click a circle for more information.

offshore

For natural resource revenues from offshore locations, 27% of revenues from within 8(g) boundaries (pdf) goes to the state that the revenues came from, $150 million goes to the Historic Preservation Fund, up to $900 million goes to the Land & Water Conservation Fund, some goes to the Federal agency that manages the area, and the remainder goes to the U.S. Treasury.

onshore

For natural resource revenues from onshore Federal land, for most parts of the country 49% goes to the state that the revenues came from, 40% goes to the Reclamation Fund, some goes to the agency that manages the land, and 11% goes to the U.S. Treasury. For revenues from Alaska, 88.2% goes to the state. For revenues from Indian Country, 100% of revenues are returned to the Tribes or individual Indian land owner.

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Chart notes.

  • Fiscal year 2012 and 2013 data.