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Petroleum Industry Overview Series - Introduction

Date: December 2008

"This document is not an official pronouncement of the law or the position of the Service and cannot be used, or cited, or relied upon as such."

I. Introduction

A. Purpose of Industry Overview

This overview is designed to provide industry-related information to all Large and Mid-Size Business (LMSB). This is the first step in the effort of LMSB to develop a greater level of expertise in the industry or industries to which you will be assigned. This overview is one of a series of industry specific overviews. See the Appendix for a complete listing of available overviews.

B. The LMSB Intranet

Each Technical Advisor has established a web site on the LMSB Intranet.  These web sites contain more detailed information on each Technical Advisor area.  Topics that have been included in this Industry Guide are sometimes expanded upon and new topics may be added.  Each web site also has a “Hot Topics” section where Technical Advisors can highlight the latest developments such as new court cases, new technical advice memorandums, new revenue rulings, etc.  

C. General History of Industry Specialization Program (ISP)





The Service was restructured in 1952 into a highly decentralized organization consisting of seven regions and 58 districts. This reorganization was implemented in part to achieve greater sensitivity and responsiveness to pubic needs. District Directors were given wide latitude and authority in administering the Service's policies, procedures and programs. While decentralization of the Service proved to be a progressive action, communication between the regions and districts was made more difficult because of their quasi‑autonomy. Positions taken by the Service on industry issues could differ significantly from one region to another on the same issues.


The Service implemented the Industry Wide Examination Program to concurrently examine the major taxpayers in a given industry, coordinate selected issues common to that industry and to resolve those issues uniformly and consistently among all the industry taxpayers. Under the direction of project coordinators (usually large case branch chiefs), the industry wide examinations were largely successful in achieving uniform and consistent treatment of issues. Industry wide examinations were conducted in several industries between 1971 and 1979 and the ability to communicate freely across district and regional lines proved to be invaluable to the success of these examinations.


The Industry wide Examination Program had one major drawback. Since they existed for only two or three tax years and were then terminated, the program failed to provide continuity. To correct this situation, a major study group was created in 1977 to review the Service's Coordinated Examination Program. The study recommended that permanent positions be established for several Industry Specialists and a National Industry Coordinator. In addition, the study group identified basic industries to which it recommended specialists be assigned. The duties and responsibilities of the Specialists and the Coordinator were to be much broader than the former Project Coordinators whom they replaced.


The recommendations of the study group were implemented greatly expanding the scope and depth of the Industry wide Examination Program. The term, Industry Specialization Program, eventually evolved as a name that could encompass the varied concepts of Industry Specialists, National Industry Coordinator, Coordinated Issues, and the many refinements suggested by the study group.


As part of the Internal Revenue Service’s restructuring, the Industry Specialists were assigned to Pre-Filing and Technical Guidance which is part of LMSB, Headquarters.  The “Industry Specialists” are now called Technical Advisors.  Each of them was placed in one of the five industry areas and is managed by a Technical Advisor Manager.

D. History of Petroleum ISP





Oil Pricing Program formed in Southwest Region


Delegation Order 153 Issued for Southwest Regional Commissioner on Crude Oil pricing


Petroleum Industry Program (PIP) formed in Southwest Region. PIP combines the oil pricing program and the Petroleum Industry Specialization Program.


Delegation Order 153 revised to include LMSB Director, Natural Resources


IRM rewritten to allow International Examiners to work Controlled Issues on behalf of the NRC Director

E. Industry Specialist Staffing (Technical Advisors in LMSB)


Name of Specialist

Telephone #


Terry Loendorf



Bob McCann



Ellen Kolpin



F. LMSB Industry Staffing





Keith Jones

Industry Director


Houston, Texas

Emile Robertson

Director, Field Operations-East


Houston, Texas

Katheryn Houston

Director, Field Operations-West


Houston, Texas

John Eiman

Petroleum Industry Counsel

Houston, Texas

David Carter

Technical Advisor Manager

Atlanta, Georgia

Table of Contents | Chapters II & III

Page Last Reviewed or Updated: 10-Mar-2015