In this post, we will take an exploratory look at the data from the United States Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (USEITI) data portal. Part of the global Extractives Industries Transparency Initiative, USEITI is an effort led by a multistakeholder group of government, industry, and civil society organizations to increase public trust through increased transparency and accountability for the extraction of publicly-owned natural resources. More information can be found at useiti.doi.gov.
We will explore two datasets available on the USEITI data portal, provided by the Department of the Interior’s Office of Natural Resources Revenue (ONRR), with details on federal revenue by location.
These two comprehensive datasets (onshore and offshore) contain data on the amount of federal revenue earned in every county or offshore planning area with extractive operations on federal land. The revenue data is further broken down by commodity, product, and revenue type for each year between 2006 and 2015.
The datasets can be downloaded here as .xlsx or .tsv files, along with a number of other datasets related to the extractive industries in the US. Additional documentation and explanations of the data and methodology are provided as well.
The analyses and visualizations in this post were done using the open-source statistical programming language R. Interactive visualizations were created using R and Plotly.
Federal Revenue by Location:
There are two sets of revenue by location datasets available on the USEITI data portal, one covering 2004-2013 and another for 2006-2015. In this post we are using the more recent data.
According to the data, the Federal Government collected $7,499,581,883 in 2015 from extractive operations in 557 counties in 37 states and offshore operations in the Gulf of Mexico, the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, and off the coast of Alaska.
The graph below shows annual federal revenue from the extractive industries both offshore (blue) and onshore (green). Annual revenues were at their lowest in years in 2015, down from a peak of nearly $23 billion in 2008.
The Federal Government collects revenues from distinct activities relating to oil, gas, and mineral extraction on federal land. These revenues fall into four categories as defined by USEITI. Additional details can be found in the USEITI 2015 Executive Summary, linked in the descriptions:
Notably, tax payments, an important source of revenue for both Federal and state governments, were not reported by all companies for the years described. Limited 2013 tax data is available in the USEITI Executive Summary document for companies that voluntarily disclosed. Additional details on tax payments can be found in the USEITI 2015 Executive Summary on page 45.
Three federal agencies collect and disburse the above revenue: the Office of Natural Resources Revenue, the Bureau of Land Management, and the Office of Surface Mine Reclamation and Enforcement. Tax revenue is collected by the Internal Revenue Service.
The graph below shows the fraction of total revenue that each revenue category accounted for between 2006 and 2015. Royalties account for the majority of revenue every year, usually between 70 and 90 percent. However, bonuses can also be a major source of revenue, as they were in 2008 when they accounted for over 40 percent of the total revenues collected. Use the legend to toggle which bars are visible and your cursor to see the exact amount from each revenue category in a given year (note that holding the cursor over the "Royalties" bar segment will display the total revenue for that year)
Federal revenue from the extractive industries is overwhelmingly driven by oil, gas, and coal operations: over 96% of onshore revenue comes from oil, gas, NGL (natural gas liquids), and coal operations and over 99.5% of offshore revenue comes from oil, gas and NGL operations.
Royalty revenues are nearly evenly split between oil, gas, and coal production onshore in any given year. Offshore, oil production dominates the revenue stream. Check out the interactive plots below to see how royalty revenues varied between these commodities year to year. Use the legend to toggle which commodities are visible.
The USEITI data on federal revenue by location includes state, county, and FIPS codes (5-digit unique county identifiers) for each onshore observation as well as detailed geographic information for offshore production areas. Using this data, we can determine which extractive commodity provided the most federal revenue from each state over the ten years from 2006 to 2015. Some states (in grey) have no extractive operations on federal land.
Going further, we can use the county information to look at the gross federal revenue from each county from 2006 to 2015. There is a wide range in these values depending on the extent of operations in a given county; a handful of counties have extractive operations that were responsible for over $1 billion in federal revenues in these ten years. Certain counties have negative revenues because, as explained on the USEITI data portal, companies can adjust and correct payments for up to seven years after a transaction takes place. If a company overpays its royalty, rent, or bonus, it is entitled to recoup its 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.
These visualizations present some of the many ways we can use the USEITI data portal to better understand the U.S. natural resources sector. However, this federal-level data is only one piece of the puzzle. Extractive operations on federal lands accounted for only 40% of coal, 23% of crude oil, and 16% of natural gas production in the country, with the remainder occurring on state, tribal, or private lands (page 6). The data for state-level payments is often difficult to find or unavailable. We also lack project-level detail and company tax payment disclosures, invaluable data for holding companies accountable for how they profit from citizen-owned natural resources.
However, thanks to legal requirements in the European Union and Norway, companies listed or incorporated in those territories are required to report project-level payments to all government where they operate - including U.S. Federal and state governments. “Supermajor” oil and gas companiesTotal S.A., Royal Dutch Shell andBP have all reported payments to governments for 2015. They are also required to report their tax payments. We will explore these disclosures in a future post.
We would also like to hear from you - so let us know in the comments if there are any visualizations or specific areas of the data you would like to see explored further. Thank you and check back again soon!
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