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Notice

Information Collection Activities: Oil and Gas Drilling Operations; Proposed Collection; Comment Request

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ACTION:

60-day Notice.

SUMMARY:

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 revision to the paperwork requirements in the regulations under Subpart D, Oil and Gas Drilling Operations.

DATES:

You must submit comments by June 13, 2014.

ADDRESSES:

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

  • Electronically go to http://www.regulations.gov. In the Search box, enter BSEE-2014-0004 then click search. Follow the instructions to submit public comments and view all related materials. We will post all comments.
  • Email cheryl.blundon@bsee.gov. Mail or hand-carry comments to the Department of the Interior; Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement; Regulations and Standards Branch; ATTN: Cheryl Blundon; 381 Elden Street, HE3313; Herndon, Virginia 20170-4817. Please reference ICR 1014-0018 in your comment and include your name and return address.
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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Cheryl Blundon, Regulations and Standards Branch at (703) 787-1607 to request additional information about this ICR.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Title: 30 CFR Part 250, Subpart D, Oil and Gas Drilling Operations.

Form(s): BSEE-0123, -0123S, -0124, -0125, -0133, -0133S, and -0144.

OMB Control Number: 1014-0018.

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, 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.

In addition to the general rulemaking authority of the OCS Lands Act 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 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. Because the Secretary has delegated some of the authority under FOGRMA to the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE), 30 U.S.C. 1751 is included as additional authority for these requirements.

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, BSEE is required to charge fees 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. Well operation applications and reports are subject to cost recovery, and BSEE regulations specify service fees for these requests.

Regulations implementing these responsibilities are among those delegated to BSEE. 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. The regulations under 30 CFR 250, Subpart D, pertain to governing oil and gas production, associated forms, and related Notices to Lessees (NTLs) and Operators. We use the information 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.Start Printed Page 20898

This ICR includes several forms. In this submission, we have included a certification statement on all the forms to state that false submissions are subject to criminal penalties. Additional minor changes to the forms are as follows:

Form BSEE-0123

Question #17—facility name was added;

Question #25—revised the citations for accuracy;

Question #33—added a new question relating to digital BOP testing.

Form BSEE-0124

Question #18 updated the regulatory citations.

Form BSEE-0125

Question #34(a) Bottomhole Pressure (PSI), and

Question #34(b) Bottomhole Temperature (°F).

Form BSEE-0144

Included Alaska and Pacific OCS Region contact information.

Once this IC collection is approved, the revisions will be added to the forms and the eWell screen shot(s); the revised PRA statement will be posted on the eWell Web site.

The forms use and information consist of the following:

Application for Permit To Drill, BSEE-0123 and -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, and cementing programs to ascertain that the proposed operations will be conducted in an operationally safe manner that provides adequate protection for the environment. The 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 OCS Lands Act to make available to the public certain information submitted on Forms 0123 and 0123S.

Application for Permit To Modify, BSEE-0124

The information on this form is used to evaluate and approve the adequacy of the equipment, materials, and/or procedures that the lessee or operator plans to use during drilling plan modifications, changes in major drilling equipment, and plugging back. In addition, except for proprietary data, BSEE is required by the OCS Lands Act to make available to the public certain information submitted on Form 0124.

End of Operations Report, BSEE-0125

This information is used to ensure that industry has accurate and up-to-date data and information on wells and leasehold activities under their jurisdiction and to ensure compliance with approved plans and any conditions placed upon a suspension or temporary prohibition. It is also used to evaluate the remedial action in the event of well equipment failure or well control loss. The Form BSEE-0125 is updated and resubmitted in the event the well status changes. In addition, except for proprietary data, BSEE is required by the OCS Lands Act to make available to the public certain information submitted on BSEE-0125.

Well Activity Report, BSEE-0133 and -0133S

The BSEE uses this information to monitor the conditions of a well and status of drilling operations. We review the information to be aware of the well conditions and current drilling activity (i.e., well depth, drilling fluid weight, casing types and setting depths, completed well logs, and recent safety equipment tests and drills). The engineer uses this information to determine how accurately the lessee anticipated well conditions and if the lessee or operator is following the approved Application for Permit to Drill (BSEE-0123). The information is also used for review of an APM (BSEE-0124). With the information collected on BSEE-0133 available, the reviewers can analyze the proposed revisions (e.g., revised grade of casing or deeper casing setting depth) and make a quick and informed decision on the request.

Rig Movement Notification Report, Form BSEE-0144

As activity increased over the years in the Gulf of Mexico (GOM), the rig notification requirement became essential for BSEE inspection scheduling and has become a standard condition of approval for certain permits. The BSEE needs the information on BSEE-0144 to schedule inspections and verify that the equipment being used complies with approved permits. In reporting rig movements respondents have the option of submitting the form or using a web-based system for electronic data submissions. The information on this form is used primarily in the GOM to ascertain the precise arrival and departure of all rigs in OCS waters in the GOM. The accurate location of these rigs is necessary to facilitate the scheduling of inspections by BSEE personnel.

It is noted that the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) also requires notification of rig movement and that there is some duplication of information reported. Since we do not need this information however this does addresses USCG information. These optional data elements in the form satisfy any concerns in reporting rig movement information to both BSEE and the USCG.

We will protect personally identifiable information about individuals according to the Privacy Act (5 U.S.C. 552a) and DOIs implementing regulations (43 CFR 2). We protect proprietary information according to the Freedom of Information Act (5 U.S.C. 552) and DOI's implementing regulations (43 CFR 2); 30 CFR 250.197, Data and information to be made available to the public or for limited inspectio n; and 30 CFR part 252, OCS Oil and Gas Information Program. Responses are mandatory or are required to obtain or retain a benefit.

Frequency: Responses are submitted generally on occasion, monthly, semi-annually, annually, and as a result of situations encountered depending upon the requirements.

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

Estimated Reporting and Recordkeeping Hour Burden: The currently approved annual reporting burden for this collection is 216,211 hours. In this submission, we are requesting a total of 208,603 burden hours based on new estimates. 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: The currently approved non-hour cost burden for this collection is $2,225,286. In this ICR, we have identified two non-hour cost burdens. Applications for Permit to Drill (APDs) require a fee ($2,113), and Applications for Permit to Modify (APMs) require a fee ($125). We have not identified any other non-hour cost burdens associated with this collection of information, and we estimate a total reporting non-hour cost burden of $1,223,729.

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 Start Printed Page 20905on 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: April 8, 2014.

Robert W. Middleton,

Deputy Chief, Office of Offshore Regulatory Programs.

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[FR Doc. 2014-08332 Filed 4-11-14; 8:45 am]

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