The long road to reform the government’s Minerals Management Service, three years after its “sex, drugs and oil” scandal:
One thing that the agency hasn’t done is put to rest the skepticism of its whistleblowers. They claim that schemes similar to the royalty-avoidance techniques at issue in the False Claim Act lawsuits are still being used by major oil companies in the Gulf of Mexico, resulting in tens of millions in lost revenues.
“I don’t think a lot has changed,” says Little. “Shell isn’t the only company doing this. We turned in several other companies to the inspector general. We gave them our files. We had to force them to take them. And they still have not done one thing. They have not pursued any of those companies.”