To comply with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA), we are notifying the public that we have submitted to OMB an information collection request (ICR) for approval of the paperwork requirements in the regulations under Oil and Gas and Sulphur Operations in the Outer Continental Shelf pertaining to an Application for Permit to Drill (APD), a Revised APD, and all supporting documentation. This notice also provides the public a second opportunity to comment on the revised paperwork burden of these regulatory requirements. This ICR will separate out the hours and non-hour cost burdens associated with APDs from its currently approved IC into its own separate collection; it will also reflect more accurate burden estimates.
You must submit comments by April 14, 2014.
Submit comments by either fax (202) 395-5806 or email (OIRA_Submission@omb.eop.gov) directly to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, OMB, Attention: Desk Officer for the Department of the Interior (1014-NEW). Please provide a copy of your comments to Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) by any of the means below.
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Electronically: go to http://www.regulations.gov. In the Search box, enter BSEE-2013-0008 then click search. Follow the instructions to submit public comments and view all related materials. We will post all comments.
Email email@example.com, fax (703) 787-1546, or mail or hand-carry comments to: Department of the Interior; BSEE; Regulations and Standards Branch; ATTN: Cheryl Blundon; 381 Elden Street, HE3313; Herndon, Virginia 20170-4817. Please reference 1014-NEW in your comment and include your name and return address.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
Cheryl Blundon, Regulations and Standards Branch, (703) 787-1607, to request additional information about this ICR. To see a copy of the entire ICR submitted to OMB, go to http://www.reginfo.gov (select Information Collection Review, Currently Under Review).
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Title: 30 CFR 250, Application for Permit to Drill (APD, Revised APD), Supplemental APD Information Sheet, and all supporting documentation.
Form(s): BSEE-0123 and -0123S.
OMB Control Number: 1014-NEW.
Abstract: The Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Lands Act (OCSLA), 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, 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 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 Permit to Drill (APDs) are subject to cost recovery and BSEE regulations specify a service fee for this request.
This authority and responsibility are among those delegated to BSEE. The regulations at 30 CFR part 250 stipulate the various requirements that must be submitted with an APD, Revised APD, and the supplemental APD information sheet. The forms and the numerous submittals that are included and/or attached to the forms are the subject of this collection. Currently, this information is collected under 30 CFR part 250, Subpart D, 1014-0018 (216,211 hour burdens/$2,225,286 non-hour cost burdens; expiration 10/21/2014); but this request will separate out the hours and non-hour cost burdens associated with APDs into its own separate collection so that both industry and BSEE have a better understanding of the complexities associated with all the information that is submitted with these forms throughout the various subparts; and will reflect more accurate burden estimates.
This request also covers any related Notices to Lessees and Operators (NTLs) that BSEE issues to clarify, supplement, or provide additional guidance on some aspects of our regulations.
This ICR includes forms, APD, BSEE-0123 and Supplemental APD Information Sheet, BSEE-0123s. In this submission, we have included a Start Printed Page 14267certification statement on both forms to state that false submissions are subject to criminal penalties.
Also, we clarified some sections of Form BSEE-0123 (Form BSEE-0123s remains the same). This poses minor edits and they are as follows:
Question #17—facility name was added;
Question #25—revised the citations for accuracy;
Question #33—added a new question relating to digital BOP testing.
Application for Permit to Drill, BSEE-0123 and Supplemental APD Information Sheet, BSEE-0123S.
The BSEE uses the information from these forms to determine the conditions of a drilling site to avoid hazards inherent in drilling operations. Specifically, we use the information to evaluate the adequacy of a lessee's or operator's plan and equipment for drilling, sidetracking, or deepening operations. This includes the adequacy of the proposed casing design, casing setting depths, drilling fluid (mud) programs, cementing programs, and blowout preventer (BOP) systems to ascertain that the proposed operations will be conducted in an operationally safe manner that provides adequate protection for the environment. BSEE also reviews the information to ensure conformance with specific provisions of the lease. In addition, except for proprietary data, BSEE is required by the OCSLA to make available to the public certain information submitted on Forms BSEE-0123 and -0123S.
The forms use and information consist of the following:
Heading: BSEE uses the information to identify the type of proposed drilling activity for which approval is requested.
Well at Total Depth/Surface: Information utilized to identify the location (area, block, lease, latitude and longitude) of the proposed drilling activity.
Significant Markers Anticipated: Identification of significant geologic formations, structures and/or horizons that the lessee or operator expects to encounter. This information, in conjunction with seismic data, is needed to correlate with other wells drilled in the area to assess the risks and hazards inherent in drilling operations.
Question/Information: The information is used to ascertain the adequacy of the drilling fluids (mud) program to ensure control of the well, the adequacy of the surface casing compliance with EPA offshore pollutant discharge requirements and the shut in of adjacent wells to ensure safety while moving a rig on and off a drilling location, as well that the worst case discharge scenario information reflects the well and is updated if applicable. This information is also provided in the course of electronically requesting approval of drilling operations via eWell.
Heading: BSEE uses this information to identify the lease operator, rig name, rig elevation, water depth, type well (exploratory, development), and the presence of H2S and other data which is needed to assess operational risks and safety.
Well Design Information: This engineering data identifies casing size, pressure rating, setting depth and current volume, hole size, mud weight, BOP and well bore designs, formation and BOP test data, and other criteria. The information is utilized by BSEE engineers to verify operational safety and ensure well control to prevent blowouts and other hazards to personnel and the environment. This form accommodates requested data collection for successive sections of the borehole as drilling proceeds toward total depth below each intermediate casing point.
Regulations implementing these responsibilities are among those delegated to BSEE. Responses are mandatory or are required to obtain or retain a benefit. No questions of a sensitive nature are asked. The BSEE protects information considered proprietary under the Freedom of Information Act (5 U.S.C. 552) and DOI's implementing regulations (43 CFR part 2), and under regulations at 30 CFR 250.197, Data and information to be made available to the public or for limited inspection, 30 CFR Part 252, OCS Oil and Gas Information Program.
The information collected is used in our efforts to ensure safe drilling operations and to protect the human, marine, and coastal environment. Among other things, BSEE specifically uses the information to ensure: The drilling unit is fit for the intended purpose; the lessee or operator will not encounter geologic conditions that present a hazard to operations; equipment is maintained in a state of readiness and meets safety standards; each drilling 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 drilling 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.
Frequency: On occasion and as required by regulations.
Description of Respondents: Potential respondents comprise OCS Federal oil, gas, or sulphur lessees and/or operators.
Estimated Reporting and Recordkeeping Hour Burden: The estimated annual hour burden for this information collection is a total of 20,312 hours. The following chart details the individual components and estimated hour burdens. 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 associated with this collection of information. When respondents submit an APD (BSEE-0123), they submit a $2,113 fee for initial applications only (there is no fee for a revision). We have Start Printed Page 14271not identified any other non-hour cost burdens associated with this collection of information.
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: Section 3506(c)(2)(A) of the PRA (44 U.S.C. 3501, et seq.,) 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.
To comply with the public consultation process, on December 3, 2013, we published a Federal Register notice (78 FR 72688) announcing that we would submit this ICR to OMB for approval. The notice provided the required 60-day comment period. In addition, § 250.199 provides the OMB Control Number for the information collection requirements imposed by the regulations and forms. The regulation also informs the public that they may comment at any time on the collections of information and provides the address to which they should send comments. We received no comments in response to the Federal Register or any unsolicited comments.
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: February 19, 2014.
Robert W. Middleton,
Deputy Chief, Office of Offshore Regulatory Programs.
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