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Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment Request

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Minerals Management Service (MMS), Interior.


Notice of a revision of a currently approved information collection (1010-0049).


To comply with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA), we are inviting comments on a collection of information that we will submit to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval. The information collection request (ICR) concerns the paperwork requirements in the regulations under 30 CFR 250, subpart B, “Exploration and Development and Production Plans.”


Submit written comments by May 27, 2003.


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: Reference “Information Collection 1010-0049” 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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Arlene Bajusz, Rules Processing Team, (703) 787-1600. You may also contact Arlene Bajusz to obtain a copy, at no cost, of the regulations and forms that require the subject collection of information.

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Title: 30 CFR 250, Subpart B, Exploration and Development and Production Plans.

OMB Control Number: 1010-0049.

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.

Sections 11 and 25 of the amended OCS Lands Act require the holders of OCS oil and gas and sulphur leases to submit exploration plans (EPs) and development and production plans (DPPs) for approval before starting these activities. The implementing regulations and associated information collection Start Printed Page 14424requirements are contained in 30 CFR 250, subpart B, Exploration and Development and Production Plans. In addition, MMS has issued Notices to Lessees and Operators (NTLs) that provide supplementary guidance and procedures as applicable to each Region or nationally. These NTLs address the various surveys, reports, plans (including deep water operations plans and conservation information), etc., that are necessary for MMS to approve the exploration or development and production activities.

With this submission, we are requesting renewal of the currently approved information collection requirements of subpart B, and related NTLs, and are revising form MMS-137, OCS Plan Information Form. The revised form has been redesigned and includes additional information on schedule and description of proposed activities and associated anchors with no change to the burden.

The MMS engineers, geologists, geophysicists, and environmental scientists use the information collected under subpart B, and related NTLs, to analyze and evaluate the planned operations to ensure that they will not adversely affect the marine, coastal, or human environment and that they conserve the resources of the OCS. It would be impossible for the Regional Supervisor to make an informed decision on whether to approve the proposed plans, or whether modifications are necessary, without the analysis and evaluation of the required information. The affected States also review the information collected for consistency with approved Coastal Zone Management plans.

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. 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 and recordkeeping burden for this collection is 257,470 hours. The following chart details the individual components and respective hour burden estimates of this ICR. In calculating the burdens, 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.

Citation 30 CFR 250 subpart B and related NTLsReporting and recordkeeping requirementAverage burden (hours)
201Notify MMS and others of preliminary activities and submit follow-up information10
202Submit conservation information documents.300
203Submit initial exploration plan, including surveys, reports, studies, GOM Region forms MMS-137, MMS-138, MMS-139, etc., including notification requirements580
203(i), (j), (k), (l), (n), (q)Submit revised/modified exploration plan, including surveys, reports, studies, departures, etc80
203(o); 204(s)Conduct surveys or monitoring programs and submit results; form MMS-1412
203(p); 204(t)Submit Application for Permit to Drill. (Burden covered under 1010-0044.)0
204Submit initial development and production plan (or DOCD used in western GOM), including surveys, reports, studies, GOM Region forms MMS-137, MMS-138, MMS-139, etc., including notification requirements580
204Submit deepwater operations plans for projects in GOM water depths greater than 1,000 feet and projects utilizing subsea production technology580
204(k)Submit preliminary plans for tracts in vicinity of a DPP that requires NEPA procedures2
204(l), (m), (n), (o), (q), (u)Submit revised/modified development and production plan (or DOCD), including surveys, reports, studies, departures, etc82
250.200-250.204General departure and alternative compliance requests not specifically covered elsewhere in subpart B1
Supplemental NTLsRetain original copies of surveys, studies, reports, etc. (Note: Respondents would retain these as part of usual and customary business activities. The burden is to make them available to MMS if needed.)2

Estimated Reporting and Recordkeeping “Non-Hour Cost” Burden: We have identified no non-hour 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 Start Printed Page 14425include 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: March 14, 2003.

E.P. Danenberger,

Chief, Engineering and Operations Division.

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[FR Doc. 03-7008 Filed 3-24-03; 8:45 am]