The ONRR civil penalties program is a tool ONRR uses to encourage compliance. ONRR issues civil penalties when companies fail to comply with, or knowingly violate, applicable regulations or laws. Such penalties are authorized by the Federal Oil and Gas Royalty Management Act of 1982 (FOGRMA). ONRR has collected more than $48 million in civil penalties since its inception in 1982.
ONRR regulations at 30 C.F.R. § 1241 provide a cure period of at least 20 days for regulatory violations such as failure to submit reports. Violations not cured within the period are subject to civil penalty assessments, until they are cured, of as much as $500 per day ($5,000 per day after 40 days). However, certain violations such as failure to permit an audit, failure to timely pay royalties, or submission of false information are subject to civil penalty assessments of as much as $10,000 or $25,000 per violation for each day the violation continues. Some violations are also crimes under Title 18, U.S.C. or False Claims under 31 U.S.C. 3729. ONRR works in partnership with the Department’s Office of the Inspector General and the U.S. Attorney’s Office in pursuing these violations.