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Notice

Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment Request

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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AGENCY:

Minerals Management Service (MMS), Interior.

ACTION:

Notice of extension of a currently approved information collection (OMB Control Number 1010-0137).

SUMMARY:

As part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, MMS invites the public and other Federal agencies to comment on a proposal to extend the currently approved collection of information discussed below. We intend to submit this collection of information to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for approval. The Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA) provides that an agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number.

DATES:

Submit written comments by May 2, 2000.

ADDRESSES:

Mail or hand carry comments to the Department of the Interior; Minerals Management Service; Attention: Rules Processing Team; Mail Stop 4024; 381 Elden Street; Herndon, Virginia 20170-4817. Our practice is to make comments, including names and home addresses of respondents, available for public review during regular business hours. Individual respondents may request that we withhold their home address from the rulemaking record, which we will honor to the extent allowable by law. 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. However, we will not consider anonymous comments. We will make all submissions from organizations or businesses, and from individuals identifying themselves as representatives or officials of organizations or businesses, available for public inspection in their entirety.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Alexis London, Rules Processing Team, telephone (703) 787-1600. You may also contact Alexis London to obtain a copy of the collection of information at no cost. For information on results of workshops held to discuss the Historical Well Data Cleanup Project, contact Warren Frederick, Gulf of Mexico Region, telephone (504) 736-2562

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Title: Historical Well Data Cleanup (HWDC) Project—Notice to Lessees.

OMB Control Number: 1010-0137.

Abstract: The Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Lands Act, 43 U.S.C. 1331 et seq., gives the Secretary of the Interior (Secretary) the responsibility to preserve, protect, and develop oil and gas resources in the OCS, consistent with the need to make such resources available to meet the Nation's energy needs as rapidly as possible; balance orderly energy resource development with protection of the human, marine, and coastal environments; ensure the public a fair and equitable return on the resources of the OCS; preserve and maintain free enterprise competition; and ensure that the extent of oil and natural gas resources of the OCS is assessed at the earliest practicable time. The OCSLA at 43 U.S.C. 1332(6) states that “operations in the [O]uter Continental Shelf should be conducted in a safe manner by well-trained personnel using technology, precautions, and techniques sufficient to prevent or minimize the likelihood of blowouts, loss of well control, fires, spillages, physical obstruction to other users of the waters or subsoil and seabed, or other occurrences which may cause damage to the environment or to property, or endanger life or health.”

On February 4, 2000, the OMB approved our request under emergency processing procedures to issue Addendum 2 to NTL No. 98-29. Emergency processing permits the collection of information for 180 days. As the project is expected to last for several years, this Notice announces our intention to request a 3-year extension for this information collection.

The information we collect under NTL 98-29, Addendum 2, is missing data for wellbores that MMS has not assigned API numbers and other well data discovered as missing while completing the well database clean up project. We are not able to accurately manage and utilize data from drilling operations without the information for the missing wells. We will use the information to identify other well data (e.g., logs, surveys, tests) missing from our records, geologically map existing MMS data to the correct wellbore/location, and correctly exchange information with the operators and industry. Our geoscientists can use the information to evaluate resources for lease sales for fair market value. With respect to safety concerns, we believe that there may be anywhere from 3,000 to 5,000 unidentified completed and abandoned wellbores (bypasses and sidetracks), some of which may contain stuck drill pipe or other materials. In approving permits and other operations in an area, it is important for us to know what may be adjacent to or near the vicinity of the activity we are approving to minimize the risk of blowouts, loss of well control, and endangerment to life, health, and the environment. This is particularly important as, over the years, the number of wells drilled constantly increases, thereby increasing the risk to adjacent activities if they are not aware of what might be in the area.

As announced in a “Special Information” release on February 2, 2000, we held two half-day workshops to share HWDC contract goals with the Gulf of Mexico OCS oil and gas industry and their services company vendors and contractors. The workshops were held from 9 a.m. till noon in Houston and New Orleans on February 17 and 23, 2000. For further information on the results of these workshops, you may contact Warren Frederick at (504) 736-2562.

We will protect information respondents submit that is considered proprietary under the Freedom of Information Act (5 U.S.C. 552) and its implementing regulations (43 CFR part 2) and 30 CFR 250.196, “Data and information to be made available to the public.” No items of a sensitive nature are collected. Responses are mandatory.

Frequency: The frequency of reporting is on occasion.

Estimated Number and Description of Respondents: Approximately 130 Start Printed Page 11601Federal OCS oil, gas, and sulphur lessees.

Estimated Annual Reporting and Recordkeeping “Hour” Burden: 90,000 reporting hours for approximately 40,000 wells, based on:

(1) 1/4 hour to locate and copy a summary of drilling operations (e.g. scout tickets) for each well.

(2) 2 hours to retrieve and analyze each well file and retrieve other missing data. There are no recordkeeping requirements.

Estimated Annual Reporting and Recordkeeping “Non-Hour Cost” Burden: We have identified no cost burdens for this collection.

Comments: We will summarize written responses to this notice and address them in our submission for OMB approval. As a result of your comments and consultations with a sample of respondents, we will make any necessary adjustments to the burden in our submission to OMB. In calculating the burden, we assumed that respondents perform many of the 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.

(1) We specifically solicit your comments on the following questions:

(a) Is the proposed collection of information necessary for us to properly perform our functions, and will it be useful?

(b) Are the estimates of the burden hours of the proposed collection reasonable?

(c) Do you have any suggestions that would enhance the quality, clarity, or usefulness of the information to be collected?

(d) Is there a way to minimize the information collection burden on respondents, including through the use of appropriate automated electronic, mechanical, or other forms of information technology?

(2) In addition, the PRA requires agencies to estimate the total annual reporting “non-hour cost” burden to respondents or recordkeepers resulting from the collection of information. We need to know if you have costs associated with the collection of this information for either total capital and startup cost components or annual operation, maintenance, and purchase of service components. Your estimates should consider the costs to generate, maintain, and disclose or provide the information. You should describe the methods you use to estimate major cost factors, including system and technology acquisition, expected useful life of capital equipment, discount rate(s), and the period over which you incur costs. Capital and startup costs include, among other items, computers and software you purchase to prepare for collecting information; monitoring, sampling, drilling, and testing equipment; and record storage facilities. Generally, your estimates should not include equipment or services purchased: (i) Before October 1, 1995; (ii) to comply with requirements not associated with the information collection; (iii) for reasons other than to provide information or keep records for the Government; or (iv) as part of customary and usual business or private practices.

MMS Information Collection Clearance Officer: Jo Ann Lauterbach, (202) 208-7744).

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Dated: February 23, 2000.

E. P. Danenberger,

Chief, Engineering and Operations Division.

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[FR Doc. 00-5111 Filed 3-2-00; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4310-MR-P