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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 an extension of a currently approved information collection (OMB Control Number 1010-0104).

SUMMARY:

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, Sections 206.172, 206.173, and 206.176, Accounting for Comparison [Dual Accounting] (Form MMS-4410).” We changed the title of this ICR to clarify the regulatory language we are covering under 30 CFR part 206. The previous title was “Accounting for Comparison (Dual Accounting) (Form MMS-4410).”

DATES:

Submit written comments on or before August 9, 2004.

ADDRESSES:

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 mrm.comments@mms.gov. 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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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Sharron L. Gebhardt, telephone (303) 231-3211, FAX (303) 231-3781, or e-mail sharron.gebhardt@mms.gov.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Title: 30 CFR Part 206, Subpart E—Indian Gas, Sections 206.172, 206.173, and 206.176, Accounting for Comparison [Dual Accounting] (Form MMS-4410).

OMB Control Number: 1010-0104.

Bureau Form Number: Form MMS-4410.

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 resources 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 Start Printed Page 32607lands 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.

The product valuation determination process is essential to ensuring that Indians receive payment on the proper value of the minerals being removed. Indian tribes and individual Indian mineral owners receive all royalties generated from their lands. The Indian tribal representatives have expressed concern that the Secretary properly ensures the correct royalty is received. Failure to collect the data described in this information collection could result in the under valuation of leased minerals.

Most Indian leases contain the requirement to perform accounting for comparison (dual accounting) for gas produced from the lease. According to 30 CFR 206.176, dual accounting is the greater of the following two values:

(1) The value of gas prior to processing less any applicable allowances, or

(2) The combined value of residue gas and gas plant products resulting from processing the gas less any applicable allowances plus any drip condensate associated with the processed gas recovered downstream of the point of royalty settlement without resorting to processing, less applicable allowances.

On August 10, 1999, MMS published a final rule titled “Amendments to Gas Valuation Regulations for Indian Leases” (64 FR 43506) with an effective date of January 1, 2000. This regulation applies to all gas produced from Indian oil and gas leases, except leases on the Osage Indian Reservation. The intent of the rule was to ensure that Indian mineral lessors receive the maximum revenues from mineral resources on their land, consistent with the Secretary's trust responsibility and with lease terms. The rule requires lessees to elect to perform either actual dual accounting under 30 CFR 206.176, or the alternative methodology for dual accounting under 30 CFR 206.173.

Form MMS-4410 Reporting Information

Payors use Form MMS-4410, Accounting for Comparison (Dual Accounting), to certify that dual accounting was not required on an Indian lease and to make an election for actual or alternative dual accounting.

In this information collection request, we are asking approval to continue using the Form MMS-4410 to clarify the lessee's justification for not performing dual accounting and for the lessee's separate election to use the actual or alternative dual accounting methodology.

Form MMS-4410, Part A, Certification for Not Performing Dual Accounting

Form MMS-4410, Part A, requires lessees to identify the MMS-designated areas where the leases are located and provide specific justification for not performing dual accounting. Part A is a one-time notification. To assist the lessees in identifying the reason(s) for not performing dual accounting, Part A lists acceptable reasons for not performing dual accounting including: (1) The lease terms do not require dual accounting; (2) none of the gas from the lease is ever processed; (3) gas has a Btu content of 1000 Btu's per cubic foot or less at lease's facility measurement point(s); (4) none of the gas from the lease is processed until after gas flows into a pipeline with an index located in an index zone; and (5) none of the gas from the lease is processed until after gas flows into a mainline pipeline not located in an index zone.

Form MMS-4410, Part B, Election to Perform Actual Dual Accounting or Alternate Dual Accounting

Effective January 2002, we collected elections to perform actual dual accounting or alternative dual accounting from lessees on Part B, “Election to Perform Actual Dual Accounting or Alternate Dual Accounting.” A lessee makes an election by checking either the actual or alternative dual accounting box for each MMS-designated area where its leases are located. Part B also includes lease prefixes within each MMS-designated area to assist lessees in making the appropriate election. The election to perform actual or alternative dual accounting applies to all of a lessee's Indian leases in each MMS-designated area. The first election on Part B to use the alternative dual accounting is effective from the time of election through the end of the following calendar year. Thereafter, each election to use the alternative dual accounting methodology must remain in effect for 2 calendar years. However, lessees may return to the actual dual accounting method only at the beginning of the next election period or with written approval of MMS and the tribal lessors for tribal leases, and MMS for Indian allotted leases in the MMS-designated area (30 CFR 206.173(a)).

Frequency of Response: On occasion.

Estimated Number and Description of Respondents: 370 payors of Indian gas royalties.

Estimated Annual Reporting and Recordkeeping “Hour” Burden: 170 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. There are approximately 370 payors of Indian gas royalties. The form related to this ICR is only required if the payor wants to change their dual accounting election. We have adjusted the burden hours accordingly. We reviewed actual data from past years to project burden hours for future years. We estimate that we will receive 60 responses from 50 payors of Indian gas royalties. The following chart shows the estimated burden hours by CFR section and paragraph:

Respondents' Estimated Annual Burden Hours Chart

30 CFR sectionReporting or recordkeeping requirementBurden hours per responseAnnual number of responsesAnnual burden hours
206.172(b)(1)(ii)How do I value gas produced from leases in an index zone?425100
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* * * (b) Valuing residue gas and gas before processing. (1) * * * (ii) Gas production that you certify on Form MMS-4410, Certification for Not Performing Accounting for Comparison (Dual Accounting), is not processed before it flows into a pipeline with an index but which may be processed later; * * *
(Part A of revised Form MMS-4410)
206.173(a)(1)How do I calculate the alternative methodology for dual accounting?23570
(a) Electing a dual accounting method
(1) * * * You may elect to perform the dual accounting calculation according to either § 206.176(a) (called actual dual accounting), or paragraph (b) of this section (called the alternative methodology for dual accounting)
(Part B of revised Form MMS-4410)
206.173(a)(2)How do I calculate the alternative methodology for dual accounting?See 206.173 (a)(1) above.
(a) Electing a dual accounting method.
* * *
(2) You must make a separate election to use the alternative methodology for dual accounting for your Indian leases in each MMS-designated area
* * *
(Part B of revised Form MMS-4410)
206.176(b)How do I perform accounting for comparison?See 206.173 (a)(1) above.
* * * (b) If you are required to account for comparison, you may elect to use the alternative dual accounting methodology provided for in § 206.173 instead of the provisions in paragraph (a) of this section
(Part B of revised Form MMS-4410)
206.176(c)How do I perform accounting for comparison?See 206.172(b)(1)(ii) above.
* * * (c) * * * If you do not perform above. dual accounting, you must certify to MMS that gas flows into such a pipeline before it is processed
(Part A of revised Form MMS-4410)
Totals60170

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 http://www.mrm.mms.gov/​Laws_​R_​D/​FRNotices/​FRInfColl.htm.

Public Comment Policy: We will post all comments in response to this notice on our Web site at http://www.mrm.mms.gov/​Laws_​R_​D/​FRNotices/​FRInfColl.htm. We also will make copies of the comments available Start Printed Page 32609for 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 Information Collection Clearance Officer: Arlene Bajusz (202) 208-7744.

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Dated: June 4, 2004.

Cathy J. Hamilton,

Acting, Associate Director for Minerals Revenue Management.

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[FR Doc. 04-13162 Filed 6-9-04; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4310-MR-P