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Proposed Information Collection for OMB Review; Comment Request: Leasing of Sulphur or Oil and Gas in the Outer Continental Shelf and Pipeline Rights of Way

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ACTION:

60-day notice.

SUMMARY:

To comply with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA), the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) 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 556, Leasing of Sulphur or Oil and Gas in the OCS; 30 CFR 550, Subpart J, Pipelines and Pipeline Rights-of-Way; and 30 CFR 560, OCS Oil and Gas Leasing.

DATES:

Submit written comments by January 3, 2014.

ADDRESSES:

Please send your comments on this ICR to the BOEM Information Collection Clearance Officer, Arlene Bajusz, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, 381 Elden Street, HM-3127, Herndon, Virginia 20170 (mail); or arlene.bajusz@boem.gov (email); or 703-787-1209 (fax). Please reference ICR 1010-0006 in your comment and include your name and return address.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Arlene Bajusz, Office of Policy, Regulations, and Analysis at (703) 787-1025 to request a copy of the ICR.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

OMB Control Number: 1010-0006.

Title: 30 CFR Part 556, Leasing of Sulphur or Oil and Gas in the OCS; 30 CFR Part 550, Subpart J, Pipelines and Pipeline Rights-of-Way; and 30 CFR Part 560 OCS Oil and Gas Leasing.

Forms: BOEM-0150, 0151, 0152, 2028, 2028A, 2030.

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 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; balance orderly energy resource development with protection of human, marine, and coastal environments; ensure the public a fair and equitable return on the resources of the OCS; and preserve and maintain free enterprise competition. Also, the Energy Policy and Conservation Act of 1975 (EPCA) prohibits certain lease bidding arrangements (42 U.S.C. 6213(c)).

The Independent Offices Appropriations Act (31 U.S.C. 9701), the Omnibus Appropriations Bill (Pub. L. 104-133, 110 Stat. 1321, April 26, 1996), and Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-25, authorize Federal agencies to recover the full cost of services that provide special benefits. Under the Department of the Interior's (DOI) implementing policy, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) is required to charge the full cost for services that provide special benefits or privileges to an identifiable non-Federal recipient above and beyond those that accrue to the public at large. Instruments of transfer of a lease or interest are subject to cost recovery, and BOEM regulations specify the filing fee for these transfer applications.

This notice concerns the reporting and recordkeeping requirements of BOEM regulations at 30 CFR Part 556, Leasing of Sulphur or Oil and Gas in the OCS; 30 CFR Part 550, Subpart J, Pipelines and Pipeline Rights-of-Way; 30 CFR Part 560, OCS Oil and Gas Leasing; as well as the related Notices to Lessees and Operators (NTLs) that clarify and provide additional guidance on some aspects of these regulations. This ICR also concerns the use of forms to process bonds, transfer interest in leases, and file relinquishments.

  • BOEM-0150, Assignment of Record Title Interest in Federal OCS Oil and Gas Lease,
  • BOEM-0151, Assignment of Operating Rights Interest in Federal OCS Oil and Gas Lease,
  • BOEM-0152, Relinquishment of Federal OCS Oil and Gas Lease,
  • BOEM-2028, OCS Mineral Lessee's and Operator's Bond,
  • BOEM-2028A, OCS Mineral Lessee's and Operator's Supplemental Plugging and Abandonment Bond,
  • BOEM-2030, OCS Pipeline Right-of-Way Grant Bond.

BOEM uses the information collected to determine if applicants are qualified to hold leases in the OCS, to assign a qualification number to avoid respondent submission of information already on file; develop the semiannual List of Restricted Joint Bidders; ensure the qualification of transferees and track operators on leaseholds; document that a leasehold or geographical subdivision has been surrendered by the record title holder; and ensure that adequate funds are secured to complete existing and future bond obligations.

We will protect information from respondents considered proprietary according to section 26 of the OCS Lands Act, the Freedom of Information Act (5 U.S.C. 552) and its implementing regulations (43 CFR part 2), 30 CFR 556.10(d). No items of a sensitive nature are collected. Responses are mandatory or are required to obtain a benefit.

Frequency: On occasion or annual.

Description of Respondents: Respondents comprise Federal oil, gas, or sulphur lessees and/or operators.

Estimated Reporting and Recordkeeping Hour Burden: We expect the annual reporting burden estimate for this collection to be 16,235 hours. The following table details the individual components and respective hour burden estimates of this ICR.Start Printed Page 66067

Burden Breakdown

Citation 30 CFR part 556 and NTLsReporting requirement *Non-hour cost burdens
Hour burdenAverage number of annual responsesAnnual burden hours
All Subparts
Subparts A, C, E, H, L, MNoneNot applicable.0.
Subparts G, H, I, J: 37; 53; 68; 70; 71; 72; 73Request approval for various operations or submit plans or applications. Burden included with other approved collections in 30 CFR Part 550 (Subpart A 1010-0114, Subpart B 1010-0151) and in BSEE 30 CFR 250 (Subpart A 1014-0022, Subpart D 1014-0018).0.
Subparts B through F
Subpart B: All sectionsSubmit general suggestions and relevant information in response to request for comments on proposed 5-year leasing program, including information from States/local governmentsNot considered IC as defined in 5 CFR 1320.3(h)(4).0.
Submit suggestions and specific information in response to request for comments on proposed 5-year leasing program, including information from States/local governments464256.
Subpart D: All sectionsSubmit general response to Call for Information and Nominations on areas for leasing of minerals in specified areas in accordance with an approved leasing program, including information from States/local governmentsNot considered IC as defined in 5 CFR 1320.3(h)(4).0.
Submit specific response to Call for Information and Nominations on areas for leasing of minerals in specified areas in accordance with an approved leasing program, including information from States/local governments414 responses/sale × 2 sales/call × 2 calls/year = 56224.
Subpart F: 31States or local governments submit comments/recommendations on size, timing or location of proposed lease sale410 responses40.
Subtotal130 responses520 hours.
Subpart G
Subpart G: 35; 46(d), (e)Establish a Company File for pre-qualification; submit updated information, submit qualifications for lessee/bidder, request exception2104 responses208.
41; 43; 46(g)Submit qualification of bidders for joint bids and statement or report of production, along with supporting information/appeal2100 responses200.
44; 46Submit bids and required information52,000 bids10,000.
47(c)File agreement to accept joint lease on tie bids31/22 agreements7.
47(e)(1), (e)(3)Request for reconsideration of bid rejectionNot considered IC as defined in 5 CFR 1320.3(h)(9).0.
47(f), (i); 50Execute lease (includes submission of evidence of authorized agent and request for dating of leases; lease stipulations)1852 leases852.
Subtotal3,058 responses11,267 hours.
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Subpart I
Subpart I: 52(f)(2), (g)(2)Submit authority for Regional Director to sell Treasury or alternate type of securities210 submissions20.
53(a), 53(b); 54OCS Mineral Lessee's and Operator's Bond (Form BOEM-2028)1/4124 responses31.
53(c), (d), (f); 54(e)Demonstrate financial worth/ability to carry out present and future financial obligations, request approval of another form of security, or request reduction in amount of supplemental bond required31/2165 submissions578 (rounded).
54OCS Mineral Lessee's and Operator's Supplemental Plugging & Abandonment Bond (Form BOEM-2028A)1/4136 responses34.
55Notify BOEM of any lapse in previous bond/action filed alleging lessee, surety, or guarantor is insolvent or bankrupt13 notices3.
56Provide plan/instructions to fund lease-specific abandonment account and related information; request approval to withdraw funds121 submission12.
57Provide third-party guarantee, indemnity agreement, financial information, related notices, reports, and annual update; notify BOEM if guarantor becomes unqualified1945 submissions855.
57(d)(3); 58Notice of and request approval to terminate period of liability, cancel bond, or other security1/2378 requests189.
59(c)(2)Provide information to demonstrate lease will be brought into compliance165 responses80.
Subtotal867 responses1,802 hours.
Subpart J
Subpart J: 62; 63; 64; 65; 67File application and required information for assignment or transfer for approval/comment on filing fee (Forms BOEM-0150 and BOEM-0151)2 forms @ 30 min ea = 1 hr1,680 applications/forms1,680.
1,680 Title/Rights (Transfer) Assignments @ $198 = $332,640.
63; 64(a)(8)Submit non-required documents, for record purposes, which respondents want BOEM to file with the lease document. [Accepted on behalf of lessees as a service, BOEM does not require nor need the filings]02,995 documents0.
2,995 @ $29 = $86,855.
64(a)(7)File required instruments creating or transferring working interests, etc., for record purposes1700 filings700.
Subtotal5,375 responses2,380 hours.
$419,495 non-hour cost burdens.
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Subpart K
Subpart K: 76; 92(a)File written request for relinquishment (Form BOEM-152)1240 relinquishments240.
77(c)Comment on lease cancellation (BOEM expects 1 in 10 years)11 comment1.
Subtotal241 responses241 hours.
Subpart N
Subpart N: 92(a)Request a bonus or royalty credit; submit supporting documentation11 request1.
95Request approval to transfer bonus or credit to another party; submit supporting information11 request1.
Subtotal2 responses2 hours.
30 CFR 556 Total9,673 responses16,212 hours.
$419,495.
30 CFR 550 Subpart JReporting requirement *Hour burdenAverage number of annual responsesAnnual burden hours
550.1011(a)Provide surety bond (Form BOEM-2030) and required informationGOM 0.2550 forms12.5.
Pacific 3.53 forms10.5.
30 CFR 550, Subpart J Total53 responses23 hours.
Citation 30 CFR Part 560Reporting requirement Hour burdenAverage number of annual responsesAnnual burden hours
124(a)Request BOEM to reconsider field assignment of a leaseExempt under 5 CFR 1320.4(a)(2), (c).0.
Total Reporting9,726 Responses.16,235 Hours.
$419,495 Non-Hour Cost Burdens.
* In the future, BOEM may require electronic filing of certain submissions.

Estimated Reporting and Recordkeeping Non-Hour Cost Burden: Sections 556.63 and 556.64 require respondents to pay service fees when submitting a request for transfer of record title interest or operating rights interest ($198) and to file documents for record purposes ($29). The service fees are required to recover the Federal Government's processing costs. These fees reflect the recent adjustment for inflation that became effective February 2, 2013 (78 FR 5836, 1/28/13).

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 on: (a) Whether or not the collection of information is necessary, including whether or not the information will have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the burden estimates; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden on respondents.

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 costs or annual operation, maintenance, and purchase of service costs. 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, Start Printed Page 66070and record storage facilities. You should not include estimates for equipment or services purchased: (a) Before October 1, 1995; (b) to comply with requirements not associated with the information collection; (c) for reasons other than to provide information or keep records for the Government; or (d) 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 Availability of Comments: 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.

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Dated: October 25, 2013.

Deanna Meyer-Pietruszka,

Chief, Office of Policy, Regulations, and Analysis.

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[FR Doc. 2013-26334 Filed 11-1-13; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4310-MR-P