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Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; 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 (1010-0142).

SUMMARY:

To comply with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA), MMS is 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 Q “Decommissioning Activities.”

DATES:

Submit written comments by January 20, 2004.

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 1010-0142” 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 at (703) 787-1600. You may also contact Arlene Bajusz to obtain a copy, at no cost, of the regulations that require the subject collection of information.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Title: 30 CFR part 250, subpart Q, Decommissioning Activities.

OMB Control Number: 1010-0142.

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.

Section 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 other techniques sufficient to prevent or minimize the likelihood of blowouts, loss of well control, fires, spillages, physical obstructions 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 regulations at 30 CFR 250, subpart Q, implement these requirements and concern decommissioning of platforms, wells, and pipelines, as well as site clearance and platform removal. The MMS uses the information collected under subpart Q in the following ways:

  • To determine the necessity for allowing a well to be temporarily abandoned, the lessee/operator must demonstrate that there is a reason for not permanently abandoning the well, and the temporary abandonment will not constitute a significant threat to fishing, navigation, or other uses of the seabed. MMS uses the information and documentation to verify that the lessee is diligently pursuing the final disposition of the well and that the lessee has performed the temporary plugging of the wellbore.
  • The information submitted in “initial” decommissioning plans in the Alaska and Pacific OCS Regions will permit MMS to become involved on the ground floor planning of the world-class platform removals anticipated to occur in these OCS regions.
  • Site clearance and platform or pipeline removal information ensures that all objects (wellheads, platforms, etc.) installed on the OCS are properly removed using procedures that will protect marine life and the environment during removal operations and that the site is cleared so as not to conflict with or harm other uses of the OCS.
  • Decommissioning a pipeline in place is needed to ensure that it will not constitute a hazard to navigation and commercial fishing operations, unduly interfere with other uses of the OCS, or have adverse environmental effects.
  • The information is necessary to verify that decommissioning activities comply with approved applications and procedures and are satisfactorily completed.

MMS will protect information from respondents considered proprietary under the Freedom of Information Act (5 U.S.C. 552) and its implementing regulations (43 CFR part 2) and under Start Printed Page 65308regulations at 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, annual, and as specified in sections.

Estimated Number and Description of Respondents: Approximately 236 Federal OCS oil, gas, and sulphur lessees and holders of pipeline rights-of-way.

Estimated Reporting and Recordkeeping “Hour” Burden: The currently approved annual reporting burden for this collection is 6,071 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 QReporting requirementHour burden
1703; 1704Request approval for decommissioningBurden included below.
1704(g); 1712; 1716; 1717; 1721(a), (f), (g); 1722(a), (b), (d); 1723(b); 1743(a)Submit form MMS-124 to plug wells; provide subsequent report; request alternate depth departure; request procedure to protect obstructions above seafloor; report results of trawling; certify area cleared of obstructions; remove casing stub or mud line suspension equipment and subsea protective covering; or other departuresBurden included under 1010-0045.
1713Notify MMS 48 hours before beginning operations to permanently plug a well15 minutes.
1721(e); 1722(e), (h)(1); 1741(c)Identify and report subsea wellheads, casing stubs, or other obstructions; mark wells protected by a dome; mark location to be cleared as navigation hazardU.S. Coast Guard requirements.
1722(c), (g)(2)Notify MMS within 5 days if trawl does not pass over protective device or causes damages to it; or if inspection reveals casing stub or mud line suspension is no longer protected15 minutes.
1722(f), (g)(3)Submit annual report on plans for re-entry to complete or permanently abandon the well and inspection report2.
1722(h)Request waiver of trawling test2.
1704(a); 1726Submit initial decommissioning application in the Pacific OCS Region and Alaska OCS Region20.
1704(b); 1725; 1727; 1728; 1730Submit final application to remove platform or other subsea facility structures (including alternate depth departure) or approval to maintain, to conduct other operations, or to convert to artificial reef8.
1725(e)Notify MMS 48 hours before beginning removal of platform and other facilities15 minutes.
1704(c); 1729Submit post platform or other facility removal report2.
1740; 1743(b)Request approval to use alternative methods of well site, platform, or other facility clearance4.
1743(b)Verify permanently plugged well, platform, or other facility removal site cleared of obstructions and submit certification letter12.
1704(d); 1751; 1752Submit application to decommission pipeline in place or remove pipeline8.
1753Submit post pipeline decommissioning report2.
1700 thru 1754General departure and alternative compliance requests not specifically covered elsewhere in subpart Q regulations2.

Estimated Reporting and Recordkeeping “Non-Hour Cost” Burden: 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.

MMS will summarize written responses to this notice and address them in the submission for OMB approval. As a result of your comments, MMS will make any necessary adjustments to the burden in the submission to OMB.

Public Comment Policy: MMS's practice is to make comments, including names and home addresses of respondents, available for public review during regular business hours. If you wish your name and/or address to be withheld, you must state this Start Printed Page 65309prominently at the beginning of your comment. MMS will honor this request to the extent allowable by law; however, anonymous comments will not be considered. All submissions from organizations or businesses, and from individuals identifying themselves as representatives or officials of organizations or businesses, will be made available for public inspection in their entirety.

MMS Federal Register Liaison Officer: Denise Johnson at (202) 208-3976.

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Dated: November 12, 2003.

E.P. Danenberger,

Chief, Engineering and Operations Division.

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[FR Doc. 03-28835 Filed 11-18-03; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4310-MR-P