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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 February 2, 2007.

ADDRESSES:

You may submit comments by any of the following methods listed below. Please use the Information Collection Number 1010-0142 as an identifier in your message.

  • Public Connect online commenting system, https://ocsconnect.mms.gov. Follow the instructions on the Web site for submitting comments.
  • E-mail MMS at rules.comments@mms.gov. Identify with Information Collection Number 1010-0142 in the subject line.
  • Fax: 703-787-1093. Identify with Information Collection Number 1010-0142.
  • Mail or hand-carry comments to the Department of the Interior; Minerals Management Service; Attention: Rules Process Team (RPT); 381 Elden Street, MS-4024; Herndon, Virginia 20170-4817. Please reference “Information Collection 1010-0142” in your comments.
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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Cheryl Blundon, Regulations and Standards Branch at (703) 787-1607. You may also contact Cheryl Blundon 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: 1010-00142.

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.”

MMS uses the information collected under subpart Q primarily for the following reasons:

  • 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. We use the information and documentation to verify that the lessee is diligently pursuing the final disposition of the well, and 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 the site 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.

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 250.197, “Data and information to be made available to the public.” No items of a sensitive nature are collected. Responses are mandatory.

Frequency: On occasion, annually and varies by requirement.

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 8,579 hours. The following chart details the individual components and respective hour burden estimates and fees 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.Start Printed Page 70425

Citation 30 CFR 250 Subpart QReporting requirementHour burden
Fees
1703; 1704Request approval for decommissioningBurden included below.
1704(g); 1712; 1716; 1717; 1721(a), (d), (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 within 30 days, 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 1010-00141.
1713Notify MMS 48 hours before beginning operations to permanently plug a well.25
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 protected.25
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
1726; 1704(a)Submit initial decommissioning application in the Pacific OCS Region and Alaska OCS Region20
1725; 1727; 1728; 1730; 1704(b)Submit final application and appropriate data 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 reef10
$4,100 fee per submission.
1725(e)Notify MMS 48 hours before beginning removal of platform and other facilities.25
1729; 1704(c)Submit post platform or other facility removal report8
1740Request approval to use alternative methods of well site, platform, or other facility clearance8
1743(b)Verify permanently plugged well, platform, or other facility removal site cleared of obstructions and submit certification letter12
1751; 1752; 1704(d)Submit application to decommission pipeline in place or remove pipeline (L/T or ROW)8
$1,000 L/T fee per submission.
$1,900 ROW fee per submission.
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: The currently approved “non-hour cost” burdens for this collection is a total of $1,032,006. These cost burdens are for filing fees associated with submitting requests for approval to remove a platform or other facility or decommission a pipeline. We have not identified any other non-hour cost burdens associated with this collection of information. See the above table for the specific non-hour cost burdens associated with this ICR.

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) Start Printed Page 70426requires 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 Procedures: The MMS's practice is to make comments, including names and addresses of respondents, available for public review. If you wish your name and/or address to be withheld, you must state this prominently at the beginning of your comment. The MMS will honor this request to the extent allowable by law; however, anonymous comments will not be considered. There may be circumstances in which we would withhold from the record a respondent's identity, as allowable by the law. If you wish us to withhold your name and/or address, you must state this prominently at the beginning of your comment. In addition, you must present a rationale for withholding this information. This rationale must demonstrate that disclosure “would constitute an unwarranted invasion of privacy.” Unsupported assertions will not meet this burden. In the absence of exceptional, documentable circumstances, this information will be released. 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: November 27, 2006.

E.P. Danenberger,

Chief, Office of Offshore Regulatory Programs.

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[FR Doc. E6-20425 Filed 12-1-06; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4310-MR-P