CASPER — Oil and gas companies operating on public land in Wyoming reaped the vast majority of royalty and lease relief from the federal government during an aid program spurred by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Royalties are the mineral payments made by operators extracting oil and gas from public land. Onshore royalties are typically set at a rate of 12.5%. But in response to the economic devastation and crash in oil markets, the Bureau of Land Management began accepting applications for significant royalty reductions from struggling companies back in May.

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