Department of Interior Secretary Ken Salazar launched on October 1 the Office of Natural Resources Revenue (ONRR). This new office, which used to be called Minerals Revenue Management (MRM) and was part of the former Minerals Management Service (MMS), will be relocated to another part of the Department, will keep the same staff, and just like its predecessor, will be responsible for collecting and disbursing revenues from energy production on Federal and tribal lands, and on the Outer Continental Shelf. Like MRM, ONRR will also conduct auditing, compliance, investigation, enforcement and asset management for offshore and onshore Federal and tribal lands. The majority of ONRR’s operations will continue to be run out of the Denver Federal Center located in Colorado. Thus, the creation of ONRR is little more than a name change, as the same functions will be performed by the same staff.

The MMS reorganization was intended to respond to prior allegations of conflicts of interest in offshore energy regulation that occurred when the responsibilities for royalty collections, regulatory enforcement and leasing were all housed within MMS. On May 19, 2010, in the wake of the Macondo blowout, Salazar began the reorganization effort by announcing his decision to ultimately split the responsibilities performed by MMS between the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) and ONRR.

Even with ONRR up and running now, the reorganization effort is not yet complete. In the interim, MMS (minus MRM) became the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE). However, eventually, BOEM and BSEE will take the place of BOEMRE, which, along with MMS will RIP.