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Notice

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 (1010-0068).

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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 M, Unitization.

DATES:

Submit written comments by February 8, 2005.

ADDRESSES:

You may submit comments by any of the following methods listed below. Please use the approved OMB Information Collection number 1010-0068 as an identifier in your message.

  • MMS's Public Connect on-line commenting system, https://ocsconnect.mms.gov. Follow the instructions on the Web site for submitting comments.
  • Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions on the Web site for submitting comments.
  • E-mail MMS at rules.comments@mms.gov. Use the OMB number in the subject line.
  • Fax: 703-787-1093. Identify with OMB number.
  • Mail or hand-carry comments to the Department of the Interior; Minerals Management Service; Attention: Rules Processing Team (RPT); 381 Elden Street, MS-4024; Herndon, Virginia 20170-4817.
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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Cheryl Blundon, Rules Processing Team at (703) 787-1600. You may also contact Cheryl Blundon to obtain a copy, at no cost, of the regulation that requires the subject collection of information.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Title: 30 CFR Part 250, Subpart M, Unitization.

OMB Control Number: 1010-0068.

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.

This notice concerns the reporting and recordkeeping elements of 30 CFR 250, Subpart M, Unitization. We 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 regulations 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 or are required to retain a benefit. MMS OCS Regions use the information to determine whether to approve a proposal to enter into an agreement to unitize operations under two or more leases or to approve modifications when circumstances change. The information is necessary to ensure that operations will result in preventing waste, conserving natural resources, and protecting correlative rights, including the Government's interests. We also use information submitted to determine competitiveness of a reservoir or to decide that compelling unitization will achieve these results.

Frequency: The frequency of reporting is on occasion.

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

Estimated Reporting and Recordkeeping “Hour” Burden: The currently approved annual reporting burden for this collection is 5,396 hours. The following chart details the individual components and respective hour burden estimates of this ICR. There are no recordkeeping requirements under 30 CFR 250, Subpart M. 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.

Burden Breakdown

Citation 30 CFR 250 subpart MReporting requirementHour burden
1301General description of requirementsBurden included in following sections.
1301(d), (f)(3), (g)(1), (g)(2)(ii)Request or order suspension of production or operationsBurden covered in 1010-0114.
1302(b)Request preliminary determination on competitive reservoir36.
1302(b)Submit concurrence or objection on competitiveness with supporting evidence36.
1302(c), (d)Submit joint plan of operations, supplemental plans, or a separate plan if agreement cannot be reached36.
1303Apply for voluntary unitization, including submitting unit agreement, unit operating agreement, initial plan of operation, and supporting data; request for variance from model agreement144.
1304(b)Request compulsory unitization, including submitting unit agreement, unit operating agreement, initial plan of operation, and supporting data; serving non-consenting lessees with documents144.
1303; 1304Submit revisions or modifications to unit agreement, unit operating agreement, plan of operation, change of unit operator, etc6.
1303; 1304Submit initial, and revisions to, participating area48.
1304(d)Request hearing on required unitization1.
1304(e)Submit statement at hearing on compulsory unitization4.
1304(e)Submit three copies of verbatim transcript of hearing1.
1304(f)Appeal final order of compulsory unitizationBurden covered under 1010-0121.
1300-1304General departure and alternative compliance requests not specifically covered elsewhere in Subpart M regulations2.
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Estimated Reporting and Recordkeeping “Non-Hour Cost” Burden: Section 250.1304(d) provides an opportunity for parties notified of compulsory unitization to request a hearing. Section 250.1304(e) requires the party seeking the compulsory unitization to pay for the court reporter and three copies of the verbatim transcript of the hearing. It should be noted there have been no such hearings in the recent past, and none are expected in the near future. We estimate that the burden would be approximately $250.

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.

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

Public Comment Policy: MMS's practice is to make comments, including names and 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 prominently 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 Information Collection Clearance Officer: Arlene Bajusz (202) 208-7744.

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Dated: December 3, 2004.

E.P. Danenberger,

Chief, Engineering and Operations Division.

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[FR Doc. 04-27142 Filed 12-9-04; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4310-MR-P