Federal Register: November 20, 2006 (Volume 71, Number 223)
DOCID: FR Doc E6-19514
DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
Minerals Management Service
DOCUMENT ACTION: Notice of a revision of an information collection (1010-0071).
Agency Information Collection Activities: Submitted for Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Review; Comment Request
DATES: Submit written comments by December 20, 2006.
To comply with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA), we are notifying the public that we have submitted to OMB an information collection request (ICR) to renew approval of the paperwork requirements in the regulations under 30 CFR part 203, ``Relief or Reduction in Royalty Rates.'' This notice also provides the public a second opportunity to comment on the paperwork burden of these regulatory requirements.
Agency information collection activities; proposals, submissions, and approvals,
Title: 30 CFR part 203, ``Relief or Reduction in Royalty Rates.''
OMB Control Number: 10100071.
Abstract: The Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Lands Act, as amended by Public Law 10458, Deep Water Royalty Relief Act (DWRRA), gives the Secretary of the Interior (Secretary) the authority to reduce or eliminate royalty or any net profit share specified in OCS oil and gas leases to promote increased production. The DWRRA also authorized the Secretary to suspend royalties when necessary to promote development or recovery of marginal resources on producing or nonproducing leases in the Gulf of Mexico (GOM) west of 87 degrees, 30 minutes West longitude.
Section 302 of the DWRRA provides that new production from a lease
in existence on November 28, 1995, in a water depth of at least 200
meters, and in the GOM west of 87 degrees, 30 minutes West longitude
qualifies for royalty suspension in certain situations. To grant a
royalty suspension, the Secretary must determine that the new
production or development would not be economic in the absence of
royalty relief. The Secretary must then determine the volume of production on
which no royalty would be due in order to make the new production from the lease economically viable. This determination is done on a caseby case basis. Production from leases in the same water depth and area issued after November 28, 2000, also can qualify for royalty suspension in addition to any that may be included in their lease terms.
In addition, Federal policy and statute require us to recover the cost of services that confer special benefits to identifiable non Federal recipients. The Independent Offices Appropriation Act (31 U.S.C. 9701), Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A25, and the Omnibus Appropriations Bill (Pub. L. 104133 110 Stat. 1321, April 26, 1996) authorize the Minerals Management Service (MMS) to collect these fees to reimburse us for the cost to process applications or assessments.
Regulations at 30 CFR part 203 implement these statutes and policy and require respondents to pay a fee to request royalty relief. Section 203.3 states that, ``We will specify the necessary fees for each of the types of royaltyrelief applications and possible MMS audits in a Notice to Lessees. We will periodically update the fees to reflect changes in costs as well as provide other information necessary to administer royalty relief.''
The MMS use the information to make decisions on the economic viability of leases requesting a suspension or elimination of royalty or net profit share. These decisions have enormous monetary impacts to both the lessee and the Federal Government. Royalty relief can lead to increased production of natural gas and oil, creating profits for lessees and royalty and tax revenues for the government that they might not otherwise receive. We could not make an informed decision without the collection of information required by 30 CFR part 203.
We will protect information from respondents considered proprietary
according to 30 CFR parts 203.6(b) and 250, and the Freedom of
Information Act (5 U.S.C. 552) and its implementing regulations (43 CFR
part 2). No items of a sensitive nature are collected. Responses are required to obtain a benefit.
Frequency: On occasion.
Estimated Number and Description of Respondents: Approximately 130 Federal OCS oil and gas lessees.
Estimated Reporting and Recordkeeping ``Hour'' Burden: The
estimated annual ``hour'' burden for this information collection is a
total of 4,721 hours. The following chart details the individual
components and estimated hour burdens. In calculating the burdens, we
assumed that respondents perform certain requirements in the normal
course of their activities. We consider these to be usual and customary and took that into account in estimating the burden.
Reporting or Application fees recordkeeping
Citation 30 CFR 203 requirement 30 CFR Hour Average number of annual part 203 burden responses Annual burden hours 43(a); 46(a)................. Notify MMS of intent 1 45 45 to begin drilling.
43(b)(1), (2), (d), (e)...... Notify MMS that 2 15 30 production has
confirmation of the
size of RSV.
46........................... Provide data from 8 10 80 well to confirm and
attest well drilled
was an unsuccessful
certified well and
51; 83; 84................... Applicationleases 100 1 Application every 3 years 34 (rounded) that generate
earnings that cannot
Application \1/3\ x $8,000 = $2,667 (rounded)* Audit \1/3\ x $12,500 = $4,167 (rounded) 55........................... Renounce relief 1 1 Letter every 3 years 1 (rounded) arrangement (endof
life) (seldom, if
ever will be used;
minimal burden to
61; 62; 64; 65; 71; 83; 8589 Applicationleases 2,000 1 Application every 3 years 667 (rounded) in designated areas
of GOM deep water
acquired in lease
sale before 11/28/95
or after 11/28/00
and are producing
Application \1/3\ x $19,500 = $6,500 61; 62; 64; 65; 203.71; Applicationleases 2,000 1 Application every 3 years 667 (rounded) 203.83; 203.8589. in designated areas
of deep water GOM,
acquired in lease
sale before 11/28/95
or after 11/28/00,
that have not
produced (preact or
post2000 deep water
Application \1/3\ x $34,000 = $11,334 (rounded)* Audit \1/3\ x $37,500 = $12,500 61; 62; 64; 65; 71; 83; 8589 Applicationpreview 900 1 Application every 3 years 300 assessment (seldom
if ever will be used
generally opt for
determination by MMS
Application \1/3\ x $34,000 = $11,334 (rounded) 74; 75....................... Redetermination...... 500 1 Redetermination every 3 167 (rounded) years Application \1/3\ x $16,000 = $5,334 (rounded)* 70; 81; 90; 91............... Submit fabricator's 20 1 Report every 3 years 7 (rounded) confirmation report.
70; 81; 90; 92............... Submit post 50 1 Report* every 3 years 17 (rounded) production
70; 79(a).................... Request 400 1 Request every 3 years 134 (rounded) reconsideration of
77........................... Renounce relief 1 1 Letter every 3 years 1 (rounded) arrangement (deep
water) (seldom, if
ever will be used;
minimal burden to
79(c)........................ Request extension of 2 1 Request every 3 years 1 (rounded) deadline to start
80........................... Applicationapart 250 2 applications 500 from formal programs
for royalty relief
Application 2 x $8,000** = $16,000 Audit 1 x $10,000 = $10,000 80........................... Applicationapart GOM 2 Applications 2000 from formal programs 1,000 for royalty relief
expansion project or
Application 2 x $19,500** = $39,000 Audit 1 x $20,000 = $20,000 POCS 40 1 Application 40 Application 1 x $6,500*** = $6,500 81; 8389.................... Required reports..... Burden included with applications 0 83........................... Applicationshort 40 1 Application every 3 years 14 (rounded) form to add or
assign preAct lease.
Application \1/3\ x $1,000 = $334 (rounded) 91........................... Retain supporting 8 2 Recordkeepers 16 cost records for
(records retained as
minimal burden to
make available at
Total Annual Burden...... ....... 89 Responses 4,721 Hours Total Fees = $145,670
Estimated Reporting and Recordkeeping ``NonHour Cost'' Burden:
There are two nonhour costs associated with this information
collection. The estimated nonhour cost burden is $280,670. This estimate is based on:
(a) Application and audit fees. The total annual estimated cost burden for these fees is $145,670 (refer to burden chart).
(b) Cost of reports prepared by independent certified public accountants. Under Sec. 203.81, a report prepared by an independent certified public accountant (CPA) must accompany the application and postproduction report (expansion project, short form, and preview assessment applications are excluded). The OCS Lands Act applications will require this report only once; the DWRRA applications will require this report at two stageswith the application and postproduction development report for successful applicants. MMS estimates approximately three submissions each year at an average cost of $45,000 per report, for a total estimated annual cost burden of $135,000.
The total of the two burdens is estimated at $280,670.
Public Disclosure Statement: The PRA (44 U.S.C. 3501, et seq.) provides that an agency may not conduct or sponsor a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number. Until OMB approves a collection of information, you are not obligated to respond.
Comments: Section 3506(c)(2)(A) of the PRA (44 U.S.C. 3501, et seq.) requires each agency ``* * * to provide notice * * * and otherwise consult with members of the public and affected agencies concerning each proposed collection of information * * * '' Agencies must specifically solicit comments to: (a) Evaluate whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the agency to perform its duties, including whether the information is useful; (b) evaluate the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information; (c) enhance the quality, usefulness, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) minimize the burden on the respondents, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology.
To comply with the public consultation process, on March 15, 2006, we published a Federal Register notice (71 FR 13420) announcing that we would submit this ICR to OMB for approval. The notice provided the required 60day comment period. In addition, Sec. 203.82 provides the OMB control number for the information collection requirements imposed by the 30 CFR part 203 regulations. The regulation also informs the public that they may comment at any time on the collections of information and provides the address to which they should send comments. We received two comments in response to these efforts. Neither comment was germane to the IC cost or hour burden or the subject of the collection itself.
If you wish to comment in response to this notice, you may send your comments to the offices listed under the ADDRESSES section of this notice. OMB has up to 60 days to approve or disapprove the information collection but may respond after 30 days. Therefore, to ensure maximum consideration, OMB should receive public comments by December 20, 2006.
Public Comment Procedures: MMS's practice is to make comments,
including names and addresses of respondents, available for public
review. If you wish your name and/or address to be withheld, you must
state this prominently at the beginning of your comment. MMS will honor
the request to the extent allowable by the law; however, anonymous comments will
not be considered. There may be circumstances in which we would withhold from the record a respondent's identity, as allowable by the law. If you wish us to withhold your name and/or address, you must state this prominently at the beginning of your comment. In addition, you must present a rationale for withholding this information. This rationale must demonstrate that disclosure ``would constitute an unwarranted invasion of primary.'' Unsupported assertions will not meet this burden. In the absence of exception, documentable circumstances, this information will be released. All submissions from organizations or businesses, and from individuals identifying themselves as representatives or officials of organizations or businesses, will be made available for public inspection in their entirety.
MMS Information Collection Clearance Officer: Arlene Bajusz, (202) 2087744.
Dated: September 12, 2006.
Chief, Office of Offshore Regulatory Programs.
[FR Doc. E619514 Filed 111706; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4310MRP
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT
Cheryl Blundon, Rules Processing Team, (703) 7871600. You may also contact Cheryl Blundon to obtain a copy, at no cost, of the ICR and regulations that require the subject collection of information.