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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 1010-0095).

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. We changed the title of this information collection request (ICR) to clarify the regulatory language we are covering under 30 CFR Part 206. The previous title of this ICR was “Request to Exceed Regulatory Allowance Limitation.” The new title of this ICR is “30 CFR Part 206—Product Valuation (Request to Exceed Transportation and Processing Allowance Limitation), Subpart B—Indian Oil, § 206.54(b)(2); Subpart C—Federal Oil, § 206.109(c)(2); Subpart D—Federal Gas, § § 206.156(c)(3), 206.158(c)(3), and 206.158(d)(2)(i); and Subpart E—Indian Gas, § § 206.177(c)(2) and 206.177(c)(3).”

DATES:

Submit written comments on or before October 18, 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—Product Valuation (Request to Exceed Transportation and Processing Allowance Limitation), Subpart B—Indian Oil, § 206.54(b)(2); Subpart C—Federal Oil, § 206.109(c)(2); Subpart D—Federal Gas, § § 206.156(c)(3), 206.158(c)(3), and 206.158(d)(2)(i); and Subpart E—Indian Gas, § § 206.177(c)(2) and 206.177(c)(3).

OMB Control Number: 1010-0095.

Bureau Form Number: Form MMS-4393.

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 include 5 U.S.C. 301, et seq.; 25 U.S.C. 396a, et seq., 2101, et seq.; 30 U.S.C. 185, 351, et seq., 1001, et seq., 1701, et seq.; 31 U.S.C. 9701; and 43 U.S.C. 1301, et seq., 1331, et seq., and 1801, et seq.

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 exceeding a regulatory allowance limitation.

Under certain circumstances, lessees are authorized to deduct from royalty payments the reasonable actual costs of transporting the royalty portion of produced oil and gas from the lease to a processing or sales point not in the immediate lease area. When gas is processed for the recovery of gas plant products, lessees may claim a processing allowance. Transportation and processing allowances are a part of the product valuation process that MMS uses to determine if the lessee is reporting and paying the proper royalty amount.

To request permission to exceed an allowance limit, royalty payors must write a letter to MMS explaining why a higher allowance limit is necessary and provide supporting documentation. The MMS developed Form MMS-4393, Request to Exceed Regulatory Allowance Limitation, to accompany the payor's letter requesting approval to exceed the allowance limit. The form provides MMS the data necessary to make a decision on the request and track deductions on royalty reports. Data reported on Form MMS-4393 is also subject to subsequent audit and adjustment.

Frequency of Response: Annually.

Estimated Number and Description of Respondents: 26 lessees.

Estimated Annual Reporting and Recordkeeping “Hour” Burden: 121 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 51322

Respondents' Estimated Annual Burden Hours

30 CFR sectionReporting and recordkeeping requirementHour burdenAverage number of annual responsesAnnual burden hours
Subpart B—Indian Oil (Transportation Allowances)
206.54(b)(2)* * * An application for exception (using Form MMS-4393, Request to Exceed Regulatory Allowance Limitation) shall contain all relevant and supporting documentation necessary for MMS to make a determination. * * *4.2514.25
Subpart C—Federal Oil (Transportation Allowances)
206.109(c)(2)Limits on transportation allowances. * * * You may ask MMS to approve a transportation allowance in excess of the limitation in paragraph (c)(1) of this section. * * * Your application for exception (using Form MMS-4393, Request to Exceed Regulatory Allowance Limitation) must contain all relevant and supporting documentation for MMS to make a determination. * * *4.2514.25
Subpart D—Federal Gas (Transportation Allowances)
206.156(c)(3)* * * An application for exception (using Form MMS-4393, Request to Exceed Regulatory Allowance Limitation) shall contain all relevant and supporting documentation necessary for MMS to make a determination. * * *4.2528.5
Subpart D—Federal Gas (Processing Allowances)
206.158(c)(3)Upon request of a lessee, MMS may approve a processing allowance in excess of the limitation prescribed by paragraph (c)(2) of this section. * * * An application for exception (using Form MMS-4393, Request to Exceed Regulatory Allowance Limitation) shall contain all relevant and supporting documentation for MMS to make a determination. * * *4.251980.75
206.158(d)(2)(i)If the lessee incurs extraordinary costs for processing gas production from a gas production operation, it may apply to MMS for an allowance for those costs which shall be in addition to any other processing allowance. * * *9.5219
Subpart E—Indian Gas (Transportation Allowances)
206.177(c)(2)If you ask MMS, MMS may approve a transportation allowance deduction in excess of the limitation in paragraph (c)(1) of this section. * * *4.2514.25
206.177(c)(3)Your application for exception (using Form MMS-4393, Request to Exceed Regulatory Allowance Limitation) must contain all relevant and supporting documentation necessary for MMS to make a determinationSee 206.177(c)(2)
Total burden26121

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

Public Disclosure Statement: 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.

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.

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 Start Printed Page 51323software 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 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 Information Collection Clearance Officer: Arlene Bajusz (202) 208-7744.

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Dated: August 12, 2004.

Lucy Querques Denett,

Associate Director for Minerals Revenue Management.

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[FR Doc. 04-18963 Filed 8-17-04; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4310-MR-P