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Notice

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

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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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 notifying the public that we have submitted to OMB an information collection request (ICR) to renew approval of the paperwork requirements for the Notice to Lessees (NTL) on the Historical Well Data Cleanup (HWDC) Project. This notice also provides the public a second opportunity to comment on the paperwork burden of these regulatory requirements.

DATES:

Submit written comments by August 27, 2003.

ADDRESSES:

You may submit comments either by fax (202) 395-5806 or e-mail (Ruth_Solomon@omb.eop.gov) directly to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, OMB, Attention: Desk Officer for the Department of the Interior (1010-0137). Mail or hand carry 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.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

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

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Title: Historical Well Data Cleanup (HWDC) Project.

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 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. 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 data base 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 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.

Frequency: On occasion—one-time response.

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

Estimated Reporting and Recordkeeping “Hour” Burden: The estimated annual “hour” burden for this information collection is a total of 56,250 hours for the remaining 25,000 wells based on:

1/4 hour to locate/copy scout tickets for each well:
.25 hour × 25,000 wells =6,250
2 hours to retrieve/analyze each well file:
2 hours × 25,000 wells =50,000
Total56,250

Estimated Reporting and Recordkeeping “Non-Hour Cost” Burden: We have identified no reporting and recordkeeping “non-hour cost” burdens associated with the collection of information.

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: 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 February 19, 2003, we published a Federal Register notice (68 FR 8044) announcing that we would submit this ICR to OMB for approval. The notice provided the required 60-day comment period. We Start Printed Page 44363have received no comments in response to these efforts.

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 August 27, 2003.

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 the 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: April 9, 2003.

E.P. Danenberger,

Chief, Engineering and Operations Division.

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[FR Doc. 03-19072 Filed 7-25-03; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4910-MR-P