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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 1010-0053).

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 on oil and gas drilling operations. 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 June 16, 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.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Title: 30 CFR 250, Subpart D, Oil and Gas Drilling Operations.

OMB Control Number: 1010-0053.

Abstract: The Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Lands Act, 43 U.S.C. 1331 et seq., requires the Secretary of the Interior to preserve, protect, and develop oil and gas resources in the OCS; make such resources available to meet the Nation's energy needs as rapidly as possible; balance orderly energy resources development with protection of the human, marine, and coastal environment; ensure the public a fair and equitable return on the resources offshore; and preserve and maintain free enterprise competition. Section 1332(6) of the OCS Lands Act (43 U.S.C. 1332) requires 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.” This authority and responsibility are among those delegated to MMS. To carry out these responsibilities, MMS issues regulations governing oil and gas and sulphur operations in the OCS. This collection of information addresses 30 CFR 250, subpart D, Oil and Gas Drilling Operations.

The MMS uses the information to ascertain the condition of a drilling site to prevent hazards inherent in drilling operations. Among other things, MMS specifically uses the information to ensure: (a) The drilling unit is fit for the intended purpose; (b) the lessee will not encounter geologic conditions that present a hazard to operations; (c) equipment is maintained in a state of readiness and meets safety standards; (d) each drilling crew is properly trained and able to promptly perform well-control activities at any time during well operations; (e) compliance with safety standards; and (f) the proposed field drilling rules will provide for safe and proper field or reservoir development, resource evaluation, conservation, protection of correlative rights, safety, and environmental protection. We also review well records to ascertain whether drilling operations have encountered hydrocarbons or H2 S and to ensure that H2 S detection equipment, personnel protective equipment, and training of the crew are adequate for safe operations in zones known to contain H2 S and zones where the presence of H2 S is unknown.

Responses are mandatory. Proprietary information respondents submit is protected according to the Freedom of Information Act (5 U.S.C. 552) and its implementing regulations (43 CFR 2) and 30 CFR 250.196. No items of a sensitive nature are collected.

Frequency: The frequency of reporting varies by section, but is mostly on occasion.

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

Estimated Annual Reporting and Recordkeeping “Hour” Burden: The currently approved burden for this information collection is 107,698 hours (3,389 reporting and 103,859 recordkeeping hours). This averages approximately 830 hours per respondent.

Estimated Annual Reporting and Recordkeeping “Non-Hour Cost” Burden: We have identified no non-hour cost burdens. Start Printed Page 20485

Comments: We will summarize written responses to this notice and address them in our submission for OMB approval. As a result of your comments, 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: March 31, 2000.

E.P. Danenberger,

Chief, Engineering and Operations Division.

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[FR Doc. 00-9425 Filed 4-14-00; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4310-MR-P