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Information Collection Activities: Application for Permit To Modify; Proposed Collection; Comment Request

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60-day notice.


To comply with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA), 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 submission of this information collection request (ICR) is necessary so that both industry and BSEE have a better understanding of the regulatory requirements associated with all supporting data and information that is submitted with an Application for Permit to Modify (APM) under the multiple subparts. This ICR will separate out the hours and non-hour cost burdens associated with APMs from its currently approved IC into its own separate collection; it will also reflect more accurate burden estimates.


You must submit comments by February 3, 2014.


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

  • Electronically: go to In the Search box, enter BSEE-2013-0005 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: Cheryl Blundon; 381 Elden Street, HE3313; Herndon, Virginia 20170-4817. Please reference ICR 1014-0017 in your comment and include your name and return address.
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Cheryl Blundon, Regulations and Standards Branch at (703) 787-1607 to request additional information about this ICR.

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Title: 30 CFR 250, Application for Permit to Modify (APM), BSEE-0124.

Form: BSEE-0124.

OMB Control Number: 1014-NEW.

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 mineral resources on the OCS. Such rules and regulations will apply to all operations conducted under a lease, right-of-way, or a right-of-use and easement. 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 Outer 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.”

In addition to the general authority of OCSLA, 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 determining 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. The Secretary has delegated some of the authority under FOGRMA to BSEE.

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 OMB Circular A-25, authorize Federal agencies to recover the full cost of services that confer special benefits. Under the Department of the Interior's implementing policy, the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) is required to charge fees for services that provide special benefits or privileges to an identifiable non-Federal recipient above and beyond those which accrue to the public at large. Applications for permits to drill are subject to cost recovery, and BSEE regulations specify a service fee for this request.

Regulations implementing these responsibilities are among those delegated to BSEE. The regulations at 30 CFR part 250 stipulate the various requirements that must be submitted with an Application for Permit to Modify (APM), Form BSEE-0124, which are the subject of this collection. Currently, an APM is covered under 30 Start Printed Page 72694CFR part 250, subpart D, 1014-0018, and when discussed in Subparts E, F, H, P, Q, they are cross referenced. It is difficult to correlate the APM burden requirements in the other subparts with their respective burden. By putting APMs, along with all the required documentation throughout the various subparts into one ICR, we feel that this situation will be alleviated and will reflect more accurate burden estimates. This request also covers the related Notices to Lessees and Operators (NTLs) that we issue to clarify, supplement, or provide additional guidance on some aspects of our regulations.

In this ICR, we have included a certification statement on the form to state that false submissions are subject to criminal penalties. Also, we clarified some sections of Form BSEE-0124. This poses minor edits and they are as follows:

Question #8 was split into 8a. and 8b. Current question 8 is now 8a. Question 8b. asks for the well status (current), and

Question #18 updated the regulatory citations.

The BSEE uses the information to ensure safe well completion, workover and decommissioning operations and to protect the human, marine, and coastal environment. Among other things, BSEE specifically uses the information to ensure: The well completion, workover and decommissioning unit is fit for the intended purpose; equipment is maintained in a state of readiness and meets safety standards; each well completion, workover and decommissioning crew is properly trained and able to promptly perform well-control activities at any time during well operations; compliance with safety standards; and the current regulations will provide for safe and proper field or reservoir development, resource evaluation, conservation, protection of correlative rights, safety, and environmental protection. We also review well records to ascertain whether the operations have encountered hydrocarbons or H2S and to ensure that H2S detection equipment, personnel protective equipment, and training of the crew are adequate for safe operations in zones known to contain H2S and zones where the presence of H2S is unknown.

We also use the information to determine the conditions of the site to avoid hazards inherent in well completion, workover and decommissioning operations. Specifically, we use the information to evaluate and approve the adequacy of the equipment, materials, and/or procedures that the lessee or operator plans to use during well completion, workover and decommissioning plan modifications and changes in major equipment. In addition, except for proprietary data, BSEE is required by the OCS Lands Act to make available to the public certain information that is submitted.

The BSEE will protect proprietary information according to the Freedom of Information Act (5 U.S.C. 552) and its implementing regulations (43 CFR part 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 required to obtain or retain a benefit or they are mandatory.

Frequency: On occasion and as required in the regulations.

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

Estimated Reporting and Recordkeeping Hour Burden: In this submission, we are estimating 9,770 burden 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.

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Estimated Reporting and Recordkeeping Non-Hour Cost Burden

We have identified one non-hour cost burden for this collection. The 30 CFR part 250 regulations require a cost recovery fee of $125 cost recovery fee (non-hour cost burden) for APM submittals. The application fee is required to recover the Federal Government's processing costs. We have not identified any other non-hour cost burdens associated with this collection of information. We estimate a total reporting non-hour cost burden of $361,625 for 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.

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Dated: November 22, 2013.

Robert W. Middleton,

Deputy Chief, Office of Offshore Regulatory Programs.

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[FR Doc. 2013-28834 Filed 12-2-13; 8:45 am]