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Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment Request

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Minerals Management Service (MMS), Interior.


Notice of revision of two currently approved information collections (OMB Control Numbers 1010-0018 and 1010-0039).


To comply with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA), we are inviting comments on two collections of information that we will submit to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval. The information collection requests (ICR) are titled “Form MMS-126, Well Potential Test Report (WPT)”; and “Form MMS-127, Sensitive Reservoir Information Report (SRI).” The submissions to OMB will request approval of revisions (to both forms) that clarify the submittal requirements and eliminate certain data elements. The current title (Request for Reservoir Maximum Efficient Rate) of Form MMS-127 is renamed.


Submit written comments by June 5, 2001.


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. If you wish to e-mail comments, the e-mail address is: Reference “Information Collection Form MMS-126” or “Form MMS-127” as appropriate in your e-mail subject line. Include your name and return address in your e-mail message and mark your message for return receipt.

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 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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Alexis London, Rules Processing Team, telephone (703) 787-1600. You may also contact Alexis London to obtain a copy at no cost of the revised forms MMS-126 and MMS-127.

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Please note that on March 8, 2001, MMS published a Notice (66 FR 13955) announcing our intention to routinely renew, without change, OMB approval of form MMS-127, titled “Request for Reservoir Maximum Efficient Rate (MER)”. Subsequent to publishing that notice, MMS decided to officially revise this form to reflect current reporting practices in the MMS Gulf of Mexico Region. The MMS Alaska and Pacific OCS Regions concurred with this decision. You should disregard the March 8, 2001, notice. If you wish to comment, comment on this Notice instead.

Titles and OMB Control Numbers:

  • Form MMS-126, Well Potential Test Report (WPT), 1010-0039.
  • Form MMS-127, Sensitive Reservoir Information Report (SRI), 1010-0018.

Abstract: The Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Lands Act (43 U.S.C. 1331 et seq.), as amended, requires the Secretary of the Interior (Secretary) to preserve, protect, and develop sulphur resources on 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 environments; ensure the public a fair and equitable return on the resources offshore; 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. Section 5(a) of the OCS Lands Act requires the Secretary to prescribe rules and regulations “to provide for the prevention of waste, and conservation of the natural resources of the Outer Continental Shelf, and the protection of correlative rights therein” and to include provisions “for the prompt and efficient exploration and development of a lease area.”

To carry out these responsibilities, MMS has issued regulations to ensure that operations in the OCS will meet statutory requirements; provide for safety and protect the environment; and result in diligent exploration, development, and production of OCS leases. Various sections of 30 CFR part 250, subpart K, require respondents to submit forms MMS-126 and MMS-127.

For several years, the MMS Gulf of Mexico Region (GOMR) has issued instructions to lessees and operators that when they submit these forms, they do not need to request a maximum production rate (MPR) or a maximum efficient rate (MER), nor complete data elements 110 through 114 on cumulative well production during Start Printed Page 18295approved testing periods. The GOMR does, however, retain the authority to set MPRs for individual well completions, and to set MERs for individual reservoirs, if necessary to ensure natural resources conservation and to maximize ultimate recovery.

The MMS Alaska and Pacific OCS Regions agree with the determination that MMS no longer needs to collect the information reported in data elements 110 through 114 on both forms. They will still require lessees and operators in those regions to complete data element 91(Requested MPR) on form MMS-126 and data elements 119 and 120 (Present and Requested MER) on form MMS-127. We are revising the forms to reflect these decisions. When we next revise the 30 CFR 250, subpart K, regulations, we anticipate proposing to officially incorporate these changes in regulation.

MMS District and Regional Supervisors use the information on form MMS-126 for various environmental, reservoir, reserves, and conservation analyses, including the determination of MPRs when necessary for certain oil and gas completions. The form contains information concerning the conditions and results of a well potential test. This requirement implements the conservation provisions of the OCS Lands Act and 30 CFR 250. The information obtained from the well potential test is essential to determine if an MPR is necessary for a well and to establish the appropriate rate. It is not possible to specify an MPR in the absence of information about the production rate capability (potential) of the well.

MMS District and Regional Supervisors use the information submitted on form MMS-127 to determine whether a rate-sensitive reservoir is being prudently developed. This represents an essential control mechanism that MMS uses to regulate production rates from each sensitive reservoir being actively produced. Occasionally, the information available on a reservoir early in its producing life may indicate it to be non-sensitive, while later and more complete information would establish the reservoir as being sensitive. Production from a well completed in the gas cap of a sensitive reservoir requires approval from the Regional Supervisor. The information submitted on form MMS-127 provides reservoir parameters that are revised at least annually or sooner if reservoir development results in a change in reservoir interpretation. The engineers and geologists use the information for rate control and reservoir studies.

Responses are mandatory. No questions of a “sensitive” nature are asked. MMS will protect proprietary information according to the Freedom of Information Act (5 U.S.C. 552) and its implementing regulations (43 CFR 2), 30 CFR 250.196 (Data and information to be made available to the public), and 30 CFR part 252 (OCS Oil and Gas Information Program). Proprietary information concerning geological and geophysical data will be protected according to 43 U.S.C. 1352.

Frequency: The frequency is “on occasion,” but not less than annual.

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

Estimated Annual Reporting and Recordkeeping “Hour” Burden: The currently approved “hour” burden for both forms is 1 hour.

Estimated Annual Reporting and Recordkeeping “Non-Hour Cost” Burden: We have identified no “non-hour cost” burden associated with either form MMS-126 or MMS-127.

Comments: The PRA (44 U.S.C. 3501, et seq.) 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. Before submitting an ICR to OMB, PRA section 3506(c)(2)(A) 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. We will summarize written responses to this notice and address them in our submission for OMB approval, including any appropriate adjustments to the estimated burden.

Agencies must estimate both the “hour” and “non-hour cost” burdens to respondents or recordkeepers resulting from the collection of information. We have not identified any non-hour cost burdens for the information collection aspects of forms MMS-126 or MMS-127. Therefore, if you have costs to generate, maintain, and disclose this information, you should comment and provide your total capital and startup cost components or annual operation, maintenance, and purchase of service components. 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, 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 27, 2001.

John V. Mirabella,

Acting Chief, Engineering and Operations Division.

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[FR Doc. 01-8461 Filed 4-5-01; 8:45 am]