Anyone who has driven around the oil patch knows what drip gas
is. Local people who can't afford to pay to fill their tanks tap off a bit of condensate. It's not exactly no-knock gas, but the price is right.
Anyone who has been around the oil patch also knows that oil companies pump a lot more than they pay for. They steal from the taxpayer, from Indian tribes, from independent owners.
It's like drip gas, but on a much MUCH
larger scale. TR Reid of the WaPo:
[O]ne veteran of the Western oil patch, independent driller Jack Grynberg, of Centennial, charges that the industry owes the federal government more than $30 billion in unpaid royalties for natural gas alone.
Amazingly, this article doesn't mention the Cobell lawsuit, alleging that Indian Trust funds, many of which are based on severance royalties are missing well over $100B. Reid, again:
"With the current operation in Washington, you just get the feeling that the companies can report any production number they want to, and the government is not going to check," said Dennis Roller, an auditor with the state of North Dakota who serves as vice chairman of the royalty audit committee. "And, of course, the result is that taxpayers aren't getting paid for the gas that they own," he said. ...The Bush administration has sided with the industry, resisting suggestions that it should be collecting more money as gas and oil drilling escalates.
Another item that's missing from this article is the name Koch. Bob Parry
did a piece on that; the suit was settled out of court.
Lots of drip gas, from some real drips.