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Information Collection Activities: Sulphur Operations, Proposed Collection; Comment Request

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60-Day notice.


To comply with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA), the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) 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 a renewal to the paperwork requirements in the regulations under, Subpart P, Sulphur Operations.


You must submit comments by September 16, 2013.


You may submit comments by either of the following methods listed below.

  • Electronically: go to In the Search box, enter BSEE-2013-0003 then click search. Follow the instructions to submit public comments and view all related materials. We will post all comments.
  • Email Mail or hand-carry comments to the Department of the Interior; BSEE; Regulations and Standards Branch; Attention: Nicole Mason; 381 Elden Street, HE3313; Herndon, Virginia 20170-4817. Please reference ICR 1014-0006 in your comment and include your name and return address.
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Nicole Mason, Regulations and Standards Branch at (703) 787-1605 to request additional information about this ICR.

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Title: 30 CFR Part 250, Subpart P, Sulphur Operations.

OMB Control Number: 1014-0006.

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 to prescribe rules and regulations necessary for the administration of the leasing provisions of that Act related to mineral resources on the OCS. Such rules and regulations will apply to all operations conducted under a lease. Operations on the OCS must preserve, protect, and develop mineral 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 5(a) of the OCS Lands Act requires the Secretary to prescribe rules and regulations “to provide for the prevention of waste, and conservation of the natural resources of the Outer Continental Shelf, and the protection of correlative rights therein” and to include provisions “for the prompt and efficient exploration and development of a lease area.” These authorities and responsibilities are among those delegated to BSEE to ensure that operations in the OCS will meet statutory requirements; provide for safety and protection of the environment; and result in diligent exploration, development, and production of OCS leases.

In addition to the general rulemaking authority of the OCSLA at 43 U.S.C. 1334, section 301(a) of the Federal Oil and Gas Royalty Management Act (FOGRMA), 30 U.S.C. 1751(a), grants authority to the Secretary to prescribe such rules and regulations as are reasonably necessary to carry out FOGRMA's provisions. While the majority of FOGRMA is directed to royalty collection and enforcement, some provisions apply to offshore operations. For example, section 108 of FOGRMA, 30 U.S.C. 1718, grants the Secretary broad authority to inspect lease sites for the purpose of Start Printed Page 42539determining whether there is compliance with the mineral leasing laws. Section 109(c)(2) and (d)(1), 30 U.S.C. 1719(c)(2) and (d)(1), impose substantial civil penalties for failure to permit lawful inspections and for knowing or willful preparation or submission of false, inaccurate, or misleading reports, records, or other information. Because the Secretary has delegated some of the authority under FOGRMA to BSEE, 30 U.S.C. 1751 is included as additional authority for these requirements.

This ICR addresses the regulations at 30 CFR 250, subpart P, Sulphur Operations, and any associated supplementary Notices to Lessees and Operators (NTLs) intended to provide clarification, description, or explanation of these regulations.

Currently, there are no active sulphur lease operations on the OCS. Therefore, this ICR and its relevant hours represent one potential respondent.

Regulations at 30 CFR part 250, subpart P, implement these statutory requirements. The BSEE uses the information collected to ascertain the condition of drilling sites for the purpose of preventing hazards inherent in sulphur drilling and production operations and to evaluate the adequacy of equipment and/or procedures to be used during the conduct of drilling, well-completion, well-workover, and production operations. The BSEE uses the information to:

  • Ascertain that a discovered sulphur deposit can be classified as capable of production in paying quantities.
  • Ensure accurate and complete measurement of production to determine the amount of sulphur royalty payments due the United States; and that the sale locations are secure, production has been measured accurately, and appropriate follow-up actions are initiated.
  • Ensure the adequacy and safety of firefighting plans; the drilling unit is fit for the intended purpose; and the adequacy of casing for anticipated conditions.
  • Review drilling, well-completion, well-workover diagrams and procedures, as well as production operation procedures to ensure the safety of the proposed sulphur drilling, well-completion, well-workover and proposed production operations.
  • Monitor environmental data during sulphur operations in offshore areas where such data are not already available to provide a valuable source of information to evaluate the performance of drilling rigs under various weather and ocean conditions. This information is necessary to make reasonable determinations regarding safety of operations and environmental protection.

The BSEE will protect proprietary information according to the Freedom of Information Act (5 U.S.C. 552) and its implementing regulations (43 CFR 2); 30 CFR 250.197, Data and information to be made available to the public or for limited inspection; and 30 CFR part 252, OCS Oil and Gas Information Program. No items of a sensitive nature are collected. Responses are mandatory.

Frequency: Occasional and varies by section, but information concerning drilling, well-completion, and well-workover operations and production is collected only once for each particular activity.

Estimated Number and Description of Respondents: Approximately 1 Federal OCS sulphur lessee.

Estimated Reporting and Recordkeeping Hour Burden: The currently approved annual reporting burden for this collection is 903 hours. The following chart details the individual components and respective hour burden estimates 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.

Citation 30 CFR 250Reporting and recordkeeping requirementHour burden
1600; 1617Submit exploration or development and production plan, under 30 CFR 550, subpart BBurden covered under (1010-0151).
1617; 1618; 1619(b); 1622Submit forms BSEE-0123 (Application for Permit to Drill), BSEE-0124 (Application for Permit to Modify), BSEE-0125 (End of Operations Report)Burden covered under (1014-0018).
1605(b)(2), (3)Make drilling units available for inspection; submit and/or resubmit data and information on fitness of drilling unit4.
1605(d)Submit results of additional surveys and soil borings upon request1.
1605(f)Submit application for installation of fixed drilling platforms or structuresBurden covered under (1014-0011).
1608(a), (c)Submit well casing and cementing plan or modification5.
1619(c), (d), (e)Submit copies of records, logs, reports, charts, etc., upon request1.
1628(b), (d)Submit application for design and installation features of sulphur production facilities and fuel gas safety system; certify new installation conforms to approved design4.
1630(a)(6)Notify BSEE of pre-production test and inspection of safety system and commencement of production30 minutes.
1633(b)Submit application for method of production measurement2.
1603(a)Request determination whether sulphur deposit can produce in paying quantities1.
1605(e)(5)Request copy of directional survey (by holder of adjoining lease)1.
1607Request establishment, amendment, or cancellation of field rules for drilling, well-completion, or well-workover8.
1610(d)(7+8)Request exception to ram-type blowout preventer (BOP) system components rated working pressure1.
1611(b); 1625(b)Request exception to water-rated working pressure to test ram-type and annular BOPs and choke manifold1.
1611(f); 1625(f)Request exception to recording pressure conditions during BOP tests on pressure charts; certify by representative1.
1612Request exception to § 250.462 requirements for well-control drills1.
1615Request exception to blind-shear ram or pipe rams and inside BOP to secure wells1.
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1629(b)(3)Request approval of firefighting systems; post firefighting system diagram4.
1608(b), (c); 1629(b)(3); 1600-1634General departure and/or alternative compliance requests not specifically covered elsewhere in subpart P2.
1604(f)Check traveling-block safety device for proper operation weekly and after each drill-line slipping; enter results in log15 minutes.
1605(c)Report oceanographic, meteorological, and drilling unit performance data upon request1.
1609(a)Pressure test casing; record time, conditions of testing, and test results in log2.
1611(d)(3); 1625(d)(3)Record in driller's report the date, time, and reason for postponing pressure testing10 minutes.
1611(f), (g); 1625(f), (g)Conduct tests, actuations, inspections, maintenance, and crew drills of BOP systems at least weekly; record results in driller's report; certify by representative; retain records for 2 years following completion of drilling activity6.
1613(d)Pressure test diverter sealing element/valves weekly; actuate diverter sealing element/valves/control system every 24 hours; test diverter line for flow every 24 hours; record test times and results in driller's report2.
1616(c)Retain training records for lessee and drilling contractor personnelBurden covered under 1014-0008.
1619(a); 1623(c)Retain records for each well and all well operations for 2 years; calculate well-control fluid volume and post near operators' station12.
1621Conduct safety meetings prior to well-completion or well-workover operations; record date and time1.
1628(b), (d)Maintain information on approved design and installation features for the life of the facility1.
1629(b)(1)(ii)Retain pressure-recording charts used to determine operating pressure ranges for 2 years12.
1630(b)Maintain records for each safety device installed for 2 years; make available for review1.
1631Conduct safety device training prior to production operations and periodically thereafter; record date and time1.
1634(b)Report evidence of mishandling of produced sulphur or tampering or falsifying any measurement of production1.

Estimated Reporting and Recordkeeping Non-Hour Cost Burden: There are no non-hour cost burdens associated with this collection.

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 collection is necessary or useful; (b) evaluate the accuracy 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 technology.

Agencies must also estimate the non-hour paperwork cost burdens to respondents or recordkeepers resulting from the collection of information. Therefore, if you have other than hour burden 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. For further information on this burden, refer to 5 CFR 1320.3(b)(1) and (2), or contact the Bureau representative listed previously in this notice.

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: Before including your address, phone number, email address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment—including your personal identifying information—may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.

BSEE Information Collection Clearance Officer: Cheryl Blundon, (703) 787-1607.

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Dated: June 27, 2013.

Robert W. Middleton,

Deputy Chief, Office of Offshore Regulatory Programs.

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[FR Doc. 2013-16990 Filed 7-15-13; 8:45 am]