Supreme Court rules on oil companies' royalties

| 12/14/2006

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled against two big oil companies on the payment of royalties to the government for oil and gas drilling rights.

In a 7-0 decision, the court upheld the government's position that it should be able to recoup more than eight years' worth of unpaid royalties from BP Amoco PLC and Arco, as opposed to the six-year limit the companies wanted imposed.

Lawyers for the two companies had argued that such a ruling would add hundreds of millions of dollars to the royalty obligations of oil companies.