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Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection, Comment Request

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Minerals Management Service (MMS), Interior.


Notice of an extension of a currently approved information Start Printed Page 22549collection (OMB Control Number 1010-0075).


To comply with the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) of 1995, 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) is titled “30 CFR Part 206, Subpart E—Indian Gas, § 206.178—How do I determine a transportation allowance? (Form MMS-4295, Gas Transportation Allowance Report) and § 206.180—How do I determine an actual processing allowance? (Form MMS-4109, Gas Processing Allowance Summary Report).” We changed the title of this ICR to clarify the regulatory language we are covering under 30 CFR part 206. The previous title was “Gas Processing and Transportation Allowances.”


Submit written comments on or before June 25, 2004.


Submit written comments to Sharron L. Gebhardt, Lead Regulatory Specialist, Minerals Management Service, Minerals Revenue Management, P.O. Box 25165, MS 302B2, 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 e-mail 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) 231-3781, or e-mail

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Title: 30 CFR Part 206, Subpart E—Indian Gas, § 206.178—How do I determine a transportation allowance? (Form MMS-4295, Gas Transportation Allowance Report) and § 206.180—How do I determine an actual processing allowance? (Form MMS-4109, Gas Processing Allowance Summary Report).

OMB Control Number: 1010-0075.

Bureau Form Number: Forms MMS-4295 and MMS-4109.

Abstract: The Secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior is responsible for collecting royalties from lessees who produce minerals from leased Federal and Indian lands. The Secretary is required by various laws to manage mineral resource production on Federal and Indian lands, collect the royalties due, and distribute the funds in accordance with those laws. The Secretary also has an Indian trust responsibility to manage Indian lands and seek advice and information from Indian beneficiaries. The MMS performs the royalty management functions and assists the Secretary in carrying out the Department's Indian trust responsibility. Applicable citations of the laws pertaining to mineral leases on Indian lands include 25 U.S.C. 369d (Chapter 12—Lease, Sale or Surrender of Allotted or Unallotted Lands); 25 U.S.C. 2103 (Indian Minerals Development Act); and Public Law 97-451—Jan. 12, 1983 (Federal Oil and Gas Royalty Management Act of 1982).

When a company or an individual enters into a lease to explore, develop, produce, and dispose of minerals from Federal or Indian lands, that company or individual agrees to pay the lessor a share (royalty) of the value received from production from the leased lands. The lease creates a business relationship between the lessor and the lessee. The lessee is required to report various kinds of information to the lessor relative to the disposition of the leased minerals. Such information is similar to data reported to private and public mineral interest owners and is generally available within the records of the lessee or others involved in developing, transporting, processing, purchasing, or selling of such minerals. The information collected includes data necessary to ensure that the royalties are paid appropriately.

Proprietary information submitted to MMS under this collection is protected, and no items of a sensitive nature are collected. A response is required to obtain the benefit of a transportation and (or) gas processing allowance on an Indian lease.

Transportation Allowances—Under certain circumstances, lessees are authorized to deduct from royalty payments the reasonable actual costs of transporting the royalty portion of produced minerals from the lease to a processing or sales point not in the immediate lease area. Transportation allowances are part of the product valuation process MMS uses to determine if the lessee is reporting and paying the proper royalty amount.

Processing Allowances—When gas is processed for the recovery of gas plant products, lessees may claim a processing allowance. The MMS normally will accept the cost as stated in the lessee's arm's-length processing contract as being representative of the cost of the processing allowance. In those instances where gas is being processed through a lessee-owned plant, the processing costs must be based on the actual plant operating and maintenance expenses, depreciation, and a reasonable return on investment. The allowance is expressed as a cost per unit of individual gas plant products. Processing allowances may be taken as a deduction from royalty payments.

The MMS and tribal personnel use the information collected on Forms MMS-4295 and MMS-4109 for transportation and processing costs to evaluate the reasonableness of allowances claimed by lessees. Only those lessees submitting arm's-length contracts or allowance forms, as appropriate, are allowed to take deductions from royalties due. The determination of the appropriate product value or allowance rate directly affects royalties due. Tribes given audit authority rely heavily upon the data submitted on the allowance forms for verification purposes.

Frequency of Response: On occasion.

Estimated Number and Description of Respondents: 12 Indian lessees/lessors.

Estimated Annual Reporting and Recordkeeping “Hour” Burden: 540 hours.

Since the previous renewal of this ICR, we have obtained more accurate estimates of the number of respondents and the time required to provide the information requested, and we have adjusted the burden hours accordingly. The following chart shows the estimated burden hours by CFR section and paragraph:Start Printed Page 22550

Respondents' Estimated Annual Burden Hours Chart

30 CFR sectionReporting requirementBurden hours per responseAnnual number of responsesAnnual burden hours
206.178 (b)(1)(ii)Determining a transportation allowance under a non-arm's-length or no contract. * * * You must submit the actual cost information to support the allowance to MMS on Form MMS-4295, Gas Transportation Allowance Report, within 3 months after the end of the 12-month period to which the allowance applies. * * *457315
206.180 (b)(1)(ii)Determining a processing allowance if you have a non-arm's-length contract or no contract. * * * You must submit the actual cost information to support the allowance to MMS on Form MMS-4109, Gas Processing Allowance Summary Report, within 3 months after the end of the 12-month period for which the allowance applies. * * *455225

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

Comments: 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. 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.

The PRA also requires agencies to estimate the total annual reporting “non-hour cost” burden to respondents or recordkeepers resulting from the collection of information. We have not identified non-hour cost burdens for this information collection. 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, sampling, and testing equipment; and record storage facilities. Generally, your estimates should not include 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 ICR submission for OMB approval, including appropriate adjustments to the estimated burden. We will provide a copy of the ICR to you without charge upon request. The ICR also will be posted on our Web site at​Laws_​R_​D/​FRNotices/​FRInfColl.htm.

Public Comment Policy: We will post all comments in response to this notice on our Web site at​Laws_​R_​D/​FRNotices/​FRInfColl.htm. We also will 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. Upon request, we will withhold an individual respondent's home address from the public record, as 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 your request 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 Federal Register Liaison Officer: Denise Johnson (202) 208-3976.

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Dated: April 19, 2004.

Lucy Querques Denett,

Associate Director for Minerals Revenue Management.

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[FR Doc. 04-9442 Filed 4-23-04; 8:45 am]