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Notice

Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment Request

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AGENCY:

Minerals Management Service (MMS), Interior.

ACTION:

Notice of extension of an information collection (1010-0137).

SUMMARY:

To comply with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA), we are inviting comments on a Notice to Lessees and Operators (NTL) discussed below. The current Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approval of the information collection in this NTL expires in August 2003. The MMS is submitting the NTL to OMB for review and approval.

DATE:

Submit written comments by April 21, 2003.

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. If you wish to e-mail comments, the address is: rules.comments@mms.gov. Reference “Information Collection 1010-0137” in your e-mail subject line and mark your message for return receipt. Include your name and return address in your message.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Arlene Bajusz, Rules Processing Team, (703) 787-1600. You may also contact Arlene Bajusz to obtain a copy, at no cost, of the collection of information.

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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, as amended (43 U.S.C. 1331 et seq. and 43 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.), authorizes the Secretary of the Interior (Secretary) to prescribe rules and regulations to administer leasing of the OCS. Such rules and regulations will apply to all operations conducted under a lease. Operations on the OCS must preserve, protect, and develop oil and natural gas resources in a manner that is consistent with the need to make such resources available to meet the Nation's energy needs as rapidly as possible; to balance orderly energy resource development with protection of human, marine, and coastal environments; to ensure the public a fair and equitable return on the resources of the OCS; and to preserve and maintain free enterprise competition.

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.”

The MMS's Historical Well Data Cleanup Project, NTL 98-29, Addendum 2, is currently underway and is expected to last several years to allow operators ample time to provide the missing or corrected data. 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 cleanup project. We are not able to manage and utilize data from drilling operations accurately 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 operators are not aware of what might be in the area.

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: On occasion.

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

Estimated Reporting and Recordkeeping “Hour” Burden: The currently approved annual reporting burden for this collection is 90,000 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 Reporting and Recordkeeping “Non-Hour Cost” Start Printed Page 8045Burden: We have identified no cost burdens for this collection.

Public Disclosure Statement: The PRA (44 U.S.C. 3501, et seq.) provides that an agency may not conduct or sponsor a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number. Until OMB approves a collection of information, you are not obligated to respond.

Comments: 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.

Agencies must also estimate the “non-hour cost” burdens to respondents or recordkeepers resulting from the collection of information. 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. You should not include estimates for 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.

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.

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 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.

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

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Dated: February 11, 2003.

E.P. Danenberger,

Chief, Engineering and Operations Division.

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[FR Doc. 03-3919 Filed 2-18-03; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4310-MR-P