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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 an extension of a currently approved information collection (OMB Control Number 1010-0103).


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 206, Subpart E—Indian Gas. This notice also provides the public a second opportunity to comment on the paperwork burden of these regulatory requirements. The ICR is titled “30 CFR Part 206, Subpart E—Indian Gas (Form MMS-4411, Safety Net Report)”.


Submit written comments on or before March 7, 2003.


Submit written comments directly to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, OMB, Attention: Desk Officer for the Department of the Interior (OMB Control Number 1010-0103), 725 17th Street, NW., Washington, DC 20503. Mail or hand-carry a copy of your comments to Sharron L. Gebhardt, Regulatory Specialist, Minerals Management Service, Minerals Revenue Management, P.O. Box 25165, MS 320B2, Denver, Colorado 80225. If you use an overnight courier service, our courier address is Building 85, Room A-614, Denver Federal Center, Denver, Colorado 80225. You may also email your comments to us at Include the title of the information collection and the OMB Control Number in the “Attention” line of your comment. Also include your name and return address. Submit electronic comments as an ASCII file avoiding the use of special characters and any form of encryption. If you do not receive a confirmation that we have received your e-mail, contact Ms. Gebhardt at (303) 231-3211.

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Sharron L. Gebhardt, telephone (303) 231-3211, FAX (303) 231-3385, email You may also contact Sharron Gebhardt to obtain a copy at no cost of the form and regulations that require the subject collection of information.

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Title: 30 CFR Part 206, Subpart E—Indian Gas (Form MMS-4411, Safety Net Report).

OMB Control Number: 1010-0103.

Bureau Form Number: Form MMS-4411.

Abstract: The Department of the Interior (DOI) is responsible for matters relevant to mineral resource development on Federal and Indian lands and the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS). The Secretary of the Interior (Secretary) is responsible for managing the production of minerals from Federal and Indian lands and the OCS, collecting royalties from lessees who produce minerals, and distributing the funds collected in accordance with applicable laws. The Secretary has an Indian trust responsibility to manage Indian lands and seek advice and information from Indian beneficiaries. MMS performs the royalty management functions and assists the Secretary in carrying out DOI's Indian trust responsibility.

On August 10, 1999, MMS published in the Federal Register (64 FR 43506) a final rulemaking titled “Amendments to Gas Valuation Regulations for Indian Leases,” with an effective date of January 1, 2000. These regulations are codified at 30 CFR Part 206, Subpart E. Form MMS-4411, Safety Net Report, governs the valuation for royalty Start Printed Page 5917purposes of natural gas produced from Indian leases. In 30 CFR 206.172(e), MMS requires that lessees submit Form MMS-4411 when gas production from an Indian lease is sold beyond the first index pricing point. The gas regulations apply to all gas production from Indian (tribal or allotted) oil and gas leases (except leases on the Osage Indian Reservation).

Form MMS-4411 ensures Indian mineral lessors receive the maximum revenues from mineral resources on their land consistent with the Secretary's trust responsibility and lease terms. It permits lessees to comply with the regulatory requirements at the time that royalties are due.

The safety net calculation establishes the minimum value, for royalty purposes, of natural gas production from Indian leases. This reporting requirement will assist the Indian lessor in receiving all the royalties that are due and aid MMS in its compliance efforts. The safety net price is calculated using prices received for gas sold downstream of the first index pricing point. It will include only the lessee's or the lessee's affiliate's arm's-length sales price, and it will not require detailed calculations for the costs of transportation. By June 30 following any calendar year, the lessee calculates a safety net price for each month of the previous calendar year. Lessees must calculate the safety net prices for each index zone where the lessee has an Indian lease and the gas is sold beyond the first index pricing point. The safety net price will capture the significantly higher values for sales occurring beyond the index point. The lessee will submit its safety net prices to MMS annually (by June 30) using Form MMS-4411.

We are also revising this ICR to include reporting requirements that were inadvertently overlooked when the final rule was published. See the chart below for these requirements and associated burden hours. These reporting requirements are rare and unusual circumstances where the standard valuation procedures set out in the Indian gas valuation rule are not appropriate.

MMS is requesting OMB's approval to continue to collect this information. Not collecting this information would limit the Secretary's ability to discharge his/her duties and may also result in loss of royalty payments to the Indian lessor due to royalties not being collected on prices received under higher priced long-term sales contracts. Proprietary information submitted is protected, and there are no questions of a sensitive nature included in this information collection.

We have also changed the title of this ICR from “Safety Net Report” to “30 CFR part 206, subpart E—Indian Gas (Form MMS-4411, Safety Net Report),” to clarify the regulatory language we are covering under 30 CFR Part 206.

Frequency: Annually.

Estimated Number and Description of Respondents: 29 Indian lessees/lessors.

Estimated Annual Reporting and Recordkeeping “Hour” Burden: 1,012 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. Therefore, we consider these to be usual and customary and took that into account in estimating the burden.

30 CFR sectionReporting requirementBurden hours per responseAnnual number of responsesAnnual burden hours
206.172(e)(6)(i) and (iii)You must report the safety net price for each index zone to MMS on Form MMS-4411, Safety Net Report, no later than June 30 following each calendar year * * * MMS may order you to amend your safety net price within one year from the date your Form MMS-4411 is due or is filed, whichever is later2524600
206.172(f)(1)(ii), (2), and (3)An Indian tribe may ask MMS to exclude some or all of its leases from valuation under this section * * * If an Indian tribe requests exclusion from an index zone for less than all of its leases, MMS will approve the request only if the excluded leases may be segregated into one or more groups based on separate fields within the reservation * * * An Indian tribe may ask MMS to terminate exclusion of its leases from valuation under this section * * * The Indian tribe's request to MMS under either paragraph (f)(1) or (2) of this section must be in the form of a tribal resolution40140
206.174(f)You may ask MMS for guidance in determining value. You may propose a valuation method to MMS. Submit all available data related to your proposal and any additional information MMS deems necessary40140
206.175(d)(4)You may request MMS approval of other methods for determining the quantity of residue gas and gas plant products allocable to each lease20120
Transportation Allowances
206.178(a)(1)(i)You are required to submit to MMS a copy of your arm's-length transportation contract(s) and all subsequent amendments to the contract(s) within 2 months of the date MMS receives your report which claims the allowance on the Form MMS-20148216
206.178(a)(2)(i) and (ii)* * * you cannot take an allowance for the costs of transporting lease production that is not royalty bearing without MMS approval, or without lessor approval on tribal leases. * * * As an alternative to paragraph (a)(2)(i), * * * you may propose to MMS a cost allocation method based on the values of the products transported20120
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206.178(a)(3)(i) and (ii)If your arm's-length transportation contract includes both gaseous and liquid products and the transportation costs attributable to each cannot be determined from the contract, you must propose an allocation procedure to MMS. You are required to submit all relevant data to support your allocation proposal40140
206.178(b)(2)(iv)* * * you may not later elect to change to the other alternative without MMS approval20120
206.178(b)(2)(iv)(A)Once you make an election * * * you may not change methods without MMS approval20120
206.178(b)(3)(i)Except as provided in this paragraph, you may not take an allowance for transporting a product that is not royalty bearing without MMS approval40140
206.178(b)(3)(ii)As an alternative to the requirements of paragraph (b)(3)(i) of this section, you may propose to MMS a cost allocation method based on the values of the products transportedSee 206.178(a)(2)(ii).
206.178(b)(5)If you transport both gaseous and liquid products through the same transportation system, you must propose a cost allocation procedure to MMS. . . . You are required to submit all relevant data to support your proposalSee 206.178(a)(3)(i) & (ii).
Processing Allowances
206.180(a)(1)(i)You are required to submit to MMS a copy of your arm's-length processing contract(s) and all subsequent amendments to the contract(s) within 2 months of the date MMS receives your first report that deducts the allowance on the Form MMS-20148216
206.180(a)(3)If your arm's-length processing contract includes more than one gas plant product and the processing costs attributable to each product cannot be determined from the contract, you must propose an allocation procedure to MMS * * * You are required to submit all relevant data to support your proposal40140
206.180(b)(2)(iv)After you elect to use either method [depreciation with a return on undepreciable capital investment or a return on depreciable capital investment] for a processing plant, you may not later elect to change to the other alternative without MMS approval20120
206.180(b)(2)(iv)(A)Once you make an election, you may not change [depreciation or unit of production] methods without MMS approval20120
206.180(b)(3)Your processing allowance under this paragraph (b) must be determined based upon a calendar year or other period if you and MMS agree to an alternative20120
206.181(c)A proposed comparable processing fee submitted to either the Tribe and MMS (for tribal leases) or MMS (for allotted leases) with your supporting documentation submitted to MMS. If MMS does not take action on your proposal within 120 days, the proposal will be deemed to be denied and subject to appeal to the MMS Director under 30 CFR part 29040140

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

Public Disclosure Statement: 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.

Comments: Section 3506(c)(2)(A) of the PRA 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, we published a Federal Register Notice (67 FR 66658) on November 1, 2002, announcing that we would submit this ICR to OMB for approval. The notice provided the required 60-day comment period. We received no comments in response to the notice.Start Printed Page 5919

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 March 7, 2003.

Public Comment Policy. We will post all comments in response to this notice on our Web site at​Laws_​R_​D/​InfoColl/​InfoColCom.htm. We will also make copies of the comments available for public review, including names and addresses of respondents, during regular business hours at our offices in Lakewood, Colorado. Individual respondents may request that we withhold their home address from the public record, which we will honor to the extent allowable by law. There also may be circumstances in which we would withhold from the rulemaking record a respondent's identity, as allowable by law. If you request that we withhold your name and/or address, 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: January 28, 2003.

Lucy Querques Denett,

Associate Director for Minerals Revenue Management.

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[FR Doc. 03-2646 Filed 2-4-03; 8:45 am]