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Agency Information Collection Activities: Submitted for Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Review; Comment Request

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Minerals Management Service (MMS), Interior.


Notice of revision of a currently approved information collection (OMB Control Number 1010-0067).


To comply with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA), we are submitting to OMB for review and approval an information collection request (ICR), titled “30 CFR part 250, subpart E, Oil and Gas Well-Completion Operations.” We are also soliciting comments from the public on this ICR.


Submit written comments by August 13, 2001.


You may submit comments directly to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, OMB, Attention: Desk Officer for the Department of the Interior (1010-0067), 725 17th Street, NW., Washington, DC 20503. Also, provide a copy of your comments to the Department of the Interior, Minerals Management Service, Attention: Rules Processing Team, Mail Stop 4024, 381 Elden Street; Herndon, Virginia 20170-4817. Or, you may e-mail comments to: Reference “Information Collection 1010-0067” in your e-mail subject line. Include your name and return address in your e-mail message and mark your message for return receipt.

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Alexis London, Rules Processing Team, telephone (703) 787-1600.

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Title: 30 CFR 250, Subpart E, Oil and Gas Well-Completion Operations

OMB Control Number: 1010-0067.

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 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 part 250, subpart E, Oil and Gas Well-Completion Operations.

Last year we submitted an ICR to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to renew the information collection requirements of the subpart E regulations. That approved information collection covered the paperwork burdens specifically required in § 250.517 (tubing and wellhead equipment and their requirements). This included the requirement under § 250.517(c) to notify the District Supervisor if sustained casing pressure (SCP) is observed on a well. This situation represents an ongoing safety hazard and can cause serious or immediate harm or damage to human life, the marine and coastal environment, and property.

After receiving notification, the Region provides the lessee/operator the procedures and requirements necessary to monitor and report SCP conditions, and the process for obtaining a departure to produce wells with SCP. Because the Gulf of Mexico Region (GOMR) now has over 8,000 wells affected by SCP, the GOMR plans to issue an NTL updating its policy and procedures on SCP. The NTL will detail the SCP reporting and recordkeeping requirements. The paperwork burden for these are included in our revised ICR to OMB for approval of the information collection requirements in the subpart E regulations and related NTLs.

The MMS District Supervisors analyze and evaluate the information and data collected under subpart E to ensure that planned well-completion operations will protect personnel safety and natural resources. They use the analysis and evaluation results in the decision to approve, disapprove, or require modification to the proposed well-completion operations. Specifically, MMS uses the information to ensure: (a) Compliance with personnel safety training requirements; (b) crown block safety device is operating and can be expected to function to avoid accidents; (c) proposed operation of the annular preventer is technically correct and provides adequate protection for personnel, property, and natural resources; (d) well-completion operations are conducted on well casings that are structurally competent; and (e) sustained casing pressures are within acceptable limits. The MMS district and regional offices will use paperwork requirements in the new GOMR NTL to determine that production from wells with SCP continues to afford the greatest possible degree of safety under these conditions.

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

Frequency: Varies by section, but is mostly “on occasion” or 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 following chart details the components of the information collection requirements in subpart E and related NTLs—which we estimate to be a total of 9,575 burden hours. In estimating the burden, 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. The paperwork Start Printed Page 36800requirements of the GOMR SCP NTL increase the currently approved burden by 3,903 hours.

Citation 30 CFR 250 subpart E and NTL sec.Reporting and recordkeeping requirementHour burden per requirement
Reporting Requirements
502Request approval not to shut-in well during equipment movement1 hour.
502 (MMS condition of approval)Notify MMS of well-completion rig movement on or off platform or from well to well on same platform6 minutes.
505; 513; 515(a); 516(g), (j); NTL I.C, III.BSubmit forms MMS-123, MMS-124, MMS-125 for various approvals, including remediation procedure for SCPBurden covered under 1010-0044, 1010-0045, 1010-0046.
512Request field well-completion rules be established and canceled (on occasion, however, there have been no requests in many years)1 hour.
515(a)Submit well-control procedure1 hour.
517(b)Pressure test, caliper, or otherwise evaluate tubing & wellhead equipment casing; submit results (every 30 days during prolonged operations)4 hours.
517(c); NTL I, III.BNotify MMS if sustained casing pressure is observed on a well1/4 hour.
NTL I.A, I.E, I.G, I.H, II, III AppendixSubmit results of diagnostic tests, departure requests and supporting information, including plan of action for non-producing wells2 hours.
NTL I.CNotify MMS when remediation procedure is complete1 hour.
NTL I.DAppeal departure request denial according to 30 CFR part 290Burden covered under 1010-0121.
500-517General departure and alternative compliance requests not specifically covered elsewhere in subpart E regulations2 hours.
Recordkeeping Requirements
506Instruct crew members in safety requirements of operations to be performed; document meeting (weekly for 2 crews × 2 weeks per completion = 4)10 minutes.
511Perform operational check of traveling-block safety device; document results (weekly × 2 weeks per completion = 2)6 minutes.
516 tests; 516(i)Perform BOP pressure tests, actuations & inspections; record results; retain records 2 years following completion of well (when installed; minimum every 14 days; as stated for component)6 hours.
516(d)(5) test; 516(i)Function test annulars and rams; document results (every 7 days between BOP tests—biweekly; note: part of BOP test when conducted)10 minutes.
516(e)Record reason for postponing BOP system tests (on occasion)6 minutes.
516(f)Perform crew drills; record results (weekly for 2 crews × 2 weeks per completion = 4)1/2 hour.
NTL I.FRetain complete record of well's casing pressure and diagnostic tests for 2 years1/4 hour.
NTL & AppendixPerform diagnostic tests and record results; perform follow-up tests at least annually to determine departure status4 hours.

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

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 8, 2001, we published a Federal Register notice (66 FR 13960) announcing that we would submit this ICR to OMB for approval. The notice provided the required 60-day comment period. In addition, § 250.199 displays the OMB control numbers for the information collection requirements imposed by the 30 CFR part 250 regulations and forms; specifies that the public may comment at anytime on these collections of information; and provides the address to which they should send comments. We have received no comments in response to these efforts.

If you wish to comment in response to this notice, send your comments directly to the offices listed under the ADDRESSES section of this notice. The 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 August 13, 2001. The 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.

We will provide you, without charge, a copy of our submission to OMB which includes the regulations and Notice to Lessees and Operators (NTL) that require the subject collection of information.

Public Comment Policy: 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 Start Printed Page 36801record, 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.

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

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Dated: June 4, 2001.

E.P. Danenberger,

Chief, Engineering and Operations Division.

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[FR Doc. 01-17617 Filed 7-12-01; 8:45 am]