Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Central Gulf of Mexico (GOM) Oil and Gas Lease Sale 194, 7300-7303 [05-2770]

Download as PDF 7300 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 28 / Friday, February 11, 2005 / Notices advance notification, please direct faxed protests to the attention of the BLM protest coordinator at 202–452–5112 and emails to Brenda_HudgensWilliams@blm.gov. Please direct the follow-up letter to the appropriate address provided below. To be considered complete, your protest must contain (at minimum) the following information: (1) Name, mailing address, telephone number and the affected interest of the person filing the protest(s). (2) A statement of the part or parts of the proposed plan and issues being protested. To the extent possible, this should be done by reference specific pages, paragraphs, and sections of the FEIS. (3) A copy of all documents addressing the issue or issues which were submitted during the planning process or a reference to the date the issue or issues were discussed by the person participating for the record. (4) A concise statement explaining why the proposed decision is believed to be incorrect. This is a critical part of your protest. Document all relevant facts, as much as possible. A protest merely expressing disagreement with the State Director’s proposed decision without providing any supporting data will not be considered a valid protest. All protests must be in writing and mailed to the following address: Regular Mail: Director, WO–210/LS– 1075, Bureau of Land Management, Attn: Brenda Hudgens-Williams, Department of the Interior, P.O. Box 66538, Washington DC, 20240. Overnight Mail: Director, WO–210/LS– 1075, Bureau of Land Management, Attn: Brenda Hudgens-Williams, Department of Interior, 1620 L Street NW., Suite 1075, Washington, DC 20036. To be considered timely, your protest must be postmarked no later than the last day of the protest period. Though not a requirement, we suggest you send your protest by certified mail, return receipt requested. You are also encouraged, but not required, to forward a copy of your protest to the Project Manager at the address listed below. This may allow us to resolve the protest through clarification of intent or alternative dispute resolution methods. Please note that comments and protests, including names and street addresses, are available for public review and/or release under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). LA1 LA1A LA1B VerDate jul<14>2003 Individual respondents may request confidentiality. Respondents who wish to withhold name and/or street address from public review or from disclosure under FOIA, must state this prominently at the beginning of the written comment. Such request will be honored to the extent allowed by law. All submissions from organizations or businesses, and from individuals identifying themselves as representatives or official organizations or business, will be made available for public inspection in their entirety. The Director will promptly render a decision on the protest. This decision will be in writing and will be sent to the protesting party by certified mail, return receipt requested. The decision of the Director shall be the final decision of the Department of the Interior. Timothy B. Reuwsaat, Medford District Manager, Bureau of Land Management. [FR Doc. 05–2634 Filed 2–10–05; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310–33–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Minerals Management Service Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Central Gulf of Mexico (GOM) Oil and Gas Lease Sale 194 AGENCY: Minerals Management Service, Interior. Final Notice of Sale (FNOS) 194. ACTION: SUMMARY: On March 16, 2005, the MMS will open and publicly announce bids received for blocks offered in Central GOM Oil and Gas Lease Sale 194, pursuant to the OCS Lands Act (43 U.S.C. 1331–1356, as amended) and the regulations issued thereunder (30 CFR part 256). The Final Notice of Sale 194 Package (FNOS 194 Package) contains information essential to bidders, and bidders are charged with the knowledge of the documents contained in the Package. DATES: Public bid reading will begin at 9 a.m., Wednesday, March 16, 2005, in the Hyatt Regency Conference Center (Cabildo Rooms), 500 Poydras Plaza, New Orleans, Louisiana. All times referred to in this document are local New Orleans times, unless otherwise specified. ADDRESSES: Bidders can obtain an FNOS 194 Package containing this Notice of Sale and several supporting and essential documents referenced herein from the MMS Gulf of Mexico Region Public Information Unit, 1201 Elmwood Park Boulevard, New Orleans, Louisiana 70123–2394, (504) 736–2519 or (800) 200–GULF, or via the MMS Internet Web site at http://www.mms.gov. Filing Of Bids: Bidders must submit sealed bids to the Regional Director (RD), MMS Gulf of Mexico Region, 1201 Elmwood Park Boulevard, New Orleans, Louisiana 70123–2394, between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. on normal working days, and from 8 a.m. to the Bid Submission Deadline of 10 a.m. on Tuesday, March 15, 2005. If the bids are mailed, please address the envelope containing all of the sealed bids as follows: Attention: Supervisor, Sales and Support Unit (MS 5422), Leasing Activities Section, MMS Gulf of Mexico Region, 1201 Elmwood Park Boulevard, New Orleans, Louisiana 70123–2394. Contains Sealed Bids for Oil and Gas Lease Sale 194. Please Deliver to Ms. Jane Burrell Johnson, Room 311, Immediately. Please note: Bidders mailing their bid(s) are advised to call Ms. Jane Burrell Johnson (504) 736–2811 immediately after putting their bid(s) in the mail. If the Regional Director receives bids later than the time and date specified above, he will return those bids unopened to bidders. Bidders may not modify or withdraw their bids unless the RD receives a written modification or written withdrawal request prior to 10 a.m. on Tuesday, March 15, 2005. Should an unexpected event such as flooding or travel restrictions be significantly disruptive to bid submission, the MMS Gulf of Mexico Region may extend the Bid Submission Deadline. Bidders may call (504) 736– 0557 for information about the possible extension of the Bid Submission Deadline due to such an event. Areas Offered for Leasing: The MMS is offering for leasing all blocks and partial blocks listed in the document ‘‘Blocks Available for Leasing in Central GOM Oil and Gas Lease Sale 194’’ included in the FNOS 194 Package. All of these blocks are shown on the following Leasing Maps and Official Protraction Diagrams (which may be purchased from the MMS Gulf of Mexico Region Public Information Unit): Outer Continental Shelf Leasing Maps—Louisiana Map Numbers 1 through 12 (These 30 maps sell for $2.00 each.) West Cameron Area (Revised November 1, 2000). West Cameron Area, West Addition (Revised November 1, 2000). West Cameron Area, South Addition (Revised November 1, 2000). 17:18 Feb 10, 2005 Jkt 205001 PO 00000 Frm 00077 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 E:\FR\FM\11FEN1.SGM 11FEN1 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 28 / Friday, February 11, 2005 / Notices LA2 LA2A LA3 LA3A LA3B LA3C LA3D LA4 LA4A LA5 LA5A LA6 LA6A LA6B LA6C LA7 LA7A LA8 LA8A LA9 LA9A LA10 LA10A LA10B LA11 LA11A LA12 NG15–03 NG15–06 NG15–09 NG16–01 NG16–04 NG16–07 NH15–12 NH16–04 NH16–07 NH16–10 East Cameron Area (Revised November 1, 2000). East Cameron Area, South Addition (Revised November 1, 2000). Vermilion Area (Revised November 1, 2000). South Marsh Island Area (Revised November 1, 2000). Vermilion Area, South Addition (Revised November 1, 2000). South Marsh Island Area, South Addition (Revised November 1, 2000). South Marsh Island Area, North Addition (Revised November 1, 2000). Eugene Island Area (Revised November 1, 2000). Eugene Island Area, South Addition (Revised November 1, 2000). Ship Shoal Area (Revised November 1, 2000). Ship Shoal Area, South Addition (Revised November 1, 2000). South Timbalier Area (Revised November 1, 2000). South Timbalier Area, South Addition (Revised November 1, 2000). South Pelto Area (Revised November 1, 2000). Bay Marchand Area (Revised November 1, 2000). Grand Isle Area (Revised November 1, 2000). Grand Isle Area, South Addition (Revised February 17, 2004). West Delta Area (Revised November 1, 2000). West Delta Area, South Addition (Revised November 1, 2000). South Pass Area (Revised November 1, 2000). South Pass Area, South and East Addition (Revised November 1, 2000). Main Pass Area (Revised November 1, 2000). Main Pass Area, South and East Addition (Revised November 1, 2000). Breton Sound Area (Revised November 1, 2000). Chandeleur Area (Revised November 1, 2000). Chandeleur Area, East Addition (Revised November 1, 2000). Sabine Pass Area (Revised November 1, 2000). Outer Continental Shelf Official Protraction Diagrams (These 10 diagrams sell for $2.00 each.) Green Canyon (Revised November 1, 2000). Walker Ridge (Revised November 1, 2000). Amery Terrace (Revised October 25, 2000). Atwater Valley (Revised November 1, 2000). Lund (Revised November 1, 2000). Lund South (Revised November 1, 2000). Ewing Bank (Revised November 1, 2000). Mobile (Revised November 1, 2000). Viosca Knoll (Revised November 1, 2000). Mississippi Canyon (Revised November 1, 2000). Please Note: A CD–ROM (in ARC/INFO and Acrobat (pdf) format) containing all of the GOM Leasing Maps and Official Protraction Diagrams, except for those not yet converted to digital format, is available from the MMS Gulf of Mexico Region Public Information Unit for a price of $15. For the current status of all Central GOM Leasing Maps and Official Protraction Diagrams, please refer to 66 FR 28002 (published May 21, 2001) and 69 FR 23211 (published April 28, 2004). In addition, Supplemental Official OCS Block Diagrams (SOBDs) for these blocks are available for blocks which contain the ‘‘U.S. 200 Nautical Mile Limit’’ line and the ‘‘U.S.-Mexico Maritime Boundary’’ line. These SOBDs are also available from the MMS Gulf of Mexico Region Public Information Unit. For additional information, please call Ms. Tara Montgomery (504) 736– 5722. All blocks are shown on these Leasing Maps and Official Protraction Diagrams. The available Federal acreage of all whole and partial blocks in this lease sale is shown in the document ‘‘List of Blocks Available for Leasing in Lease Sale 194’’ included in the FNOS 194 Package. Some of these blocks may be partially leased or transected by administrative lines such as the Federal/ State jurisdictional line. A bid on a block must include all of the available Federal acreage of that block. Also, information on the unleased portions of VerDate jul<14>2003 7301 17:18 Feb 10, 2005 Jkt 205001 such blocks is found in the document ‘‘Central Gulf of Mexico Lease Sale 194—Unleased Split Blocks and Available Unleased Acreage of Blocks with Aliquots and Irregular Portions Under Lease or Deferred’’ included in the FNOS 194 Package. Areas Not Available for Leasing: The following whole and partial blocks are not offered for lease in this lease sale: • Blocks which are beyond the United States Exclusive Economic Zone in the area known as the Northern portion of the Eastern Gap: Lund South (Area NG16–07) Blocks: 172 and 173; 213 through 217; 252 through 261; 296 through 305; 349 • Whole and partial blocks which lie within the 1.4 nautical mile buffer zone north of the continental shelf boundary between the United States and Mexico: Amery Terrace (Area NG15–09) Whole Blocks: 280 and 281; 318 through 320; 355 through 359 Partial Blocks: 235 through 238; 273 through 279; 309 through 317 Statutes and Regulations: Each lease issued in this lease sale is subject to the OCS Lands Act of August 7, 1953, 67 Stat. 462; 43 U.S.C. 1331 et seq., as PO 00000 Frm 00078 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 amended (92 Stat. 629), hereinafter called ‘‘the Act’’; all regulations issued pursuant to the Act and in existence upon the Effective Date of the lease; all regulations issued pursuant to the statute in the future which provide for the prevention of waste and conservation of the natural resources of the OCS and the protection of correlative rights therein; and all other applicable statutes and regulations. Lease Terms and Conditions: Initial period, extensions of initial period, minimum bonus bid amount, rental rates, royalty rates, minimum royalty, and royalty suspension areas are shown on the map ‘‘Lease Terms and Economic Conditions, Lease Sale 194, Final’’ for leases resulting from this lease sale: Initial Period: 5 years for blocks in water depths of less than 400 meters; 8 years for blocks in water depths of 400 to less than 800 meters; and 10 years for blocks in water depths of 800 meters or deeper; Extensions of Initial Period: Extensions may be granted for eligible leases on blocks in water depths less than 400 meters as specified in NTL No. 2000–G22; Minimum Bonus Bid Amount: A bonus bid will not be considered for E:\FR\FM\11FEN1.SGM 11FEN1 7302 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 28 / Friday, February 11, 2005 / Notices acceptance unless it provides for a cash bonus in the amount of $25 or more per acre or fraction thereof for blocks in water depths of less than 400 meters or $37.50 or more per acre or fraction thereof for blocks in water depths of 400 meters or deeper; see ‘‘List of Blocks Available for Leasing’’ contained in the FNOS 194 Package to confirm the exact calculation of the minimum bonus bid amount for each block; Rental Rates: $5 per acre or fraction thereof for blocks in water depths of less than 200 meters and $7.50 per acre or fraction thereof for blocks in water depths of 200 meters or deeper, to be paid on or before the first day of each lease year until a discovery in paying quantities of oil or gas, then at the expiration of each lease year until the start of royalty-bearing production; Royalty Rates: 16–2/3 percent royalty rate for blocks in water depths of less than 400 meters and a 12–1/2 percent royalty rate for blocks in water depths of 400 meters or deeper, except during periods of royalty suspension, to be paid monthly on the last day of the month next following the month during which the production is obtained; Minimum Royalty: After the start of royalty-bearing production: $5 per acre or fraction thereof per year for blocks in water depths of less than 200 meters and $7.50 per acre or fraction thereof per year for blocks in water depths of 200 meters or deeper, to be paid at the expiration of each lease year with credit applied for actual royalty paid during the lease year. If actual royalty paid exceeds the minimum royalty requirement, then no minimum royalty payment is due; Royalty Suspension Areas: Royalty suspension, subject to deep gas price thresholds, will apply to blocks in water depths less than 200 meters where deep gas (typically 15,000 feet or greater subsea) is drilled and commences production before May 3, 2009. In addition, subject to both oil and gas price thresholds, royalty suspension will apply in water depths of 400 meters or deeper. See the map ‘‘Lease Terms and Economic Conditions, Lease Sale 194, Final’’ for specific areas and the ‘‘Royalty Suspension Provisions, Lease Sale 194, Final’’ document contained in the FNOS 194 Package for specific details regarding royalty suspension eligibility, applicable price thresholds and implementation. Lease Stipulations: One or more of eight lease stipulations apply: (1) Topographic Features; (2) Live Bottoms; (3) Military Areas; (4) Blocks South of Baldwin County, Alabama; (5) Law of the Sea Convention Royalty Payment; (6) Protected Species; (7) Limitation on VerDate jul<14>2003 17:18 Feb 10, 2005 Jkt 205001 Use of Seabed and Water Column in the Vicinity of an Approved Offshore Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) Deepwater Port Receiving Terminal; and (8) Below Seabed Operations on Mississippi Canyon Block 920. Please see the ‘‘Stipulations and Deferred Blocks, Lease Sale 194, Final’’ map. The texts of the lease stipulations are contained in the document ‘‘Lease Stipulations for Oil and Gas Lease Sale 194, Final’’ included in the FNOS 194 Package. Information to Lessees: The FNOS 194 Package contains an ‘‘Information To Lessees’’ document which provides detailed information on certain specific issues pertaining to this oil and gas lease sale. Method of Bidding: For each block bid upon, a bidder must submit a separate signed bid in a sealed envelope labeled ‘‘Sealed Bid for Oil and Gas Lease Sale 194, not to be opened until 9 a.m., Wednesday, March 16, 2005.’’ The total amount of the bid must be in a whole dollar amount; any cent amount above the whole dollar will be ignored by the MMS. Details of the information required on the bid(s) and the bid envelope(s) are specified in the document ‘‘Bid Form and Envelope’’ contained in the FNOS 194 Package. The MMS published in the Federal Register a list of restricted joint bidders, which applies to this lease sale, at 69 FR 61402 on October 18, 2004. Bidders must execute all documents in conformance with signatory authorizations on file in the MMS Gulf of Mexico Region Adjudication Unit. Partnerships also must submit or have on file a list of signatories authorized to bind the partnership. Bidders submitting joint bids must include on the bid form the proportionate interest of each participating bidder, stated as a percentage, using a maximum of five decimal places, e.g., 33.33333 percent. The MMS may require bidders to submit other documents in accordance with 30 CFR 256.46. The MMS warns bidders against violation of 18 U.S.C. 1860 prohibiting unlawful combination or intimidation of bidders. Bidders are advised that the MMS considers the signed bid to be a legally binding obligation on the part of the bidder(s) to comply with all applicable regulations, including payment of the one-fifth bonus bid amount on all high bids. A statement to this effect must be included on each bid (see the document ‘‘Bid Form and Envelope’’ contained in the FNOS 194 Package). Rounding: The following procedure must be used to calculate the minimum bonus bid, annual rental, and minimum royalty: Round up to the next whole PO 00000 Frm 00079 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 dollar amount if the calculation results in a decimal figure (see next paragraph). Please note: The minimum bonus bid calculation, including all rounding, is shown in the document ‘‘List of Blocks Available for Leasing in Lease Sale 194’’ included in the FNOS 194 Package. Bonus Bid Deposit: Each bidder submitting an apparent high bid must submit a bonus bid deposit to the MMS equal to one-fifth of the bonus bid amount for each such bid. Under the authority granted by 30 CFR 256.46(b), the MMS requires bidders to use electronic funds transfer procedures for payment of one-fifth bonus bid deposits for Lease Sale 194, following the detailed instructions contained in the document ‘‘Instructions for Making EFT Bonus Payments’’ included in the FNOS 194 Package. All payments must be electronically deposited into an interestbearing account in the U.S. Treasury (account specified in the EFT instructions) by 1:00 p.m. Eastern Time the day following bid reading. Such a deposit does not constitute and shall not be construed as acceptance of any bid on behalf of the United States. If a lease is awarded, however, MMS requests that only one transaction be used for payment of the four-fifths bonus bid amount and the first year’s rental. Please note: Certain bid submitters (i.e., those that are NOT currently an OCS mineral lease record title holder or designated operator OR those that have ever defaulted on a one-fifth bonus bid payment (EFT or otherwise)) are required to guarantee (secure) their one-fifth bonus bid payment prior to the submission of bids. For those who must secure the EFT one-fifth bonus bid payment, one of the following options may be used: (1) Provide a third-party guarantee; (2) Amend development bond coverage; (3) Provide a letter of credit; or (4) Provide a lump sum payment in advance via EFT. The EFT instructions specify the requirements for each option. Withdrawal of Blocks: The United States reserves the right to withdraw any block from this lease sale prior to issuance of a written acceptance of a bid for the block. Acceptance, Rejection, or Return of Bids: The United States reserves the right to reject any and all bids. In any case, no bid will be accepted, and no lease for any block will be awarded to any bidder, unless the bidder has complied with all requirements of this Notice, including the documents contained in the associated FNOS 194 Package and applicable regulations; the bid is the highest valid bid; and the amount of the bid has been determined to be adequate by the authorized officer. Any bid submitted which does not conform to the requirements of this E:\FR\FM\11FEN1.SGM 11FEN1 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 28 / Friday, February 11, 2005 / Notices Notice, the Act, and other applicable regulations may be returned to the person submitting that bid by the RD and not considered for acceptance. The Attorney General may also review the results of the lease sale prior to the acceptance of bids and issuance of leases. To ensure that the Government receives a fair return for the conveyance of lease rights for this lease sale, high bids will be evaluated in accordance with MMS bid adequacy procedures. A copy of current procedures, ‘‘Modifications to the Bid Adequacy Procedures’’ at 64 FR 37560 on July 12, 1999, can be obtained from the MMS Gulf of Mexico Region Public Information Unit. Successful Bidders: As required by the MMS, each company that has been awarded a lease must execute all copies of the lease (Form MMS–2005 (March 1986) as amended), pay by EFT the balance of the bonus bid amount and the first year’s rental for each lease issued in accordance with the requirements of 30 CFR 218.155, and satisfy the bonding requirements of 30 CFR part 256, subpart I, as amended. Also, in accordance with regulations at 43 CFR, part 42, subpart C, the lessee shall comply with the U.S. Department of the Interior’s nonprocurement debarment and suspension requirements and agrees to communicate this requirement to comply with these regulations to persons with whom the lessee does business as it relates to this lease by including this term as a condition to enter into their contracts and other transactions. Affirmative Action: The MMS requests that, prior to bidding, Equal Opportunity Affirmative Action Representation Form MMS 2032 (June 1985) and Equal Opportunity Compliance Report Certification Form MMS 2033 (June 1985) be on file in the MMS Gulf of Mexico Region Adjudication Unit. This certification is required by 41 CFR part 60 and Executive Order No. 11246 of September 24, 1965, as amended by Executive Order No. 11375 of October 13, 1967. In any event, prior to the execution of any lease contract, both forms are required to be on file in the MMS Gulf of Mexico Region Adjudication Unit. Geophysical Data and Information Statement: Pursuant to 30 CFR 251.12, the MMS has a right to access geophysical data and information collected under a permit in the OCS. Every bidder submitting a bid on a block in Sale 194, or participating as a joint bidder in such a bid, must submit a Geophysical Data and Information Statement identifying any processed or VerDate jul<14>2003 17:18 Feb 10, 2005 Jkt 205001 reprocessed pre- and post-stack depth migrated geophysical data and information in its possession or control and used in the evaluation of that block. The existence, extent (i.e., number of line miles for 2D or number of blocks for 3D) and type of such data and information must be clearly identified. The statement must include the name and phone number of a contact person, and an alternate, knowledgeable about the depth data sets (that were processed or reprocessed to correct for depth) used in evaluating the block. In the event such data and information includes data sets from different timeframes, you should identify only the most recent data set used for block evaluations. The statement must also identify each block upon which a bidder participated in a bid but for which it does not possess or control such depth data and information. Every bidder must submit a separate Geophysical Data and Information Statement in a sealed envelope. The envelope should be labeled ‘‘Geophysical Data and Information Statement for Oil and Gas Lease Sale 194’’ and the bidder’s name and qualification number must be clearly identified on the outside of the envelope. This statement must be submitted to the MMS at the Gulf of Mexico Regional Office, Attention: Resource Evaluation (1201 Elmwood Park Boulevard, New Orleans, Louisiana 70123–2394) by 10 a.m. on Tuesday, March 15, 2005. The statement may be submitted in conjunction with the bids or separately. Do not include this statement in the same envelope containing a bid. These statements will not be opened until after the public bid reading at Lease Sale 194 and will be kept confidential. An Example of Preferred Format for the Geophysical Data and Information Statement is included in the FNOS 194 Package. Please refer to NTL No. 2003–G05 for more detail concerning submission of the Geophysical Data and Information Statement, making the data available to the MMS following the lease sale, preferred format, reimbursement for costs, and confidentiality. Dated: February 3, 2005. R.M. ‘‘Johnnie’’ Burton, Director, Minerals Management Service. [FR Doc. 05–2770 Filed 2–10–05; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310–MR–P PO 00000 7303 DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Minerals Management Service Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Eastern Gulf of Mexico (GOM) Oil and Gas Lease Sale 197 Minerals Management Service, Interior. ACTION: Final notice of sale (FNOS) 197. AGENCY: SUMMARY: On March 16, 2005, the MMS will open and publicly announce bids received for blocks offered in Eastern GOM Oil and Gas Lease Sale 197, pursuant to the OCS Lands Act (43 U.S.C. 1331–1356, as amended) and the regulations issued thereunder (30 CFR Part 256). The Final Notice of Sale 197 Package (FNOS 197 Package) contains information essential to bidders, and bidders are charged with the knowledge of the documents contained in the Package. DATES: Public bid reading for Eastern GOM Oil and Gas Lease Sale 197 will begin after the public bid reading for Central GOM Oil and Gas Lease Sale 194 which will begin at 9 a.m., Wednesday, March 16, 2005, in the Hyatt Regency Conference Center (Cabildo Rooms), 500 Poydras Plaza, New Orleans, Louisiana. All times referred to in this document are local New Orleans times, unless otherwise specified. ADDRESSES: Bidders can obtain a FNOS 197 Package containing this Notice of Sale and several supporting and essential documents referenced herein from the MMS Gulf of Mexico Region Public Information Unit, 1201 Elmwood Park Boulevard, New Orleans, Louisiana 70123–2394, (504) 736–2519 or (800) 200–GULF, or via the MMS Internet Web site at http://www.mms.gov. Filing of Bids: Bidders must submit sealed bids to the Regional Director (RD), MMS Gulf of Mexico Region, 1201 Elmwood Park Boulevard, New Orleans, Louisiana 70123–2394, between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. on normal working days, and from 8 a.m. to the Bid Submission Deadline of 10 a.m. on Tuesday, March 15, 2005. If the bids are mailed, please address the envelope containing all of the sealed bids as follows: Attention: Supervisor, Sales and Support Unit (MS 5422), Leasing Activities Section, MMS Gulf of Mexico Region, 1201 Elmwood Park Boulevard, New Orleans, Louisiana 70123–2394. Contains Sealed Bids for Oil and Gas Lease Sale 197, Please Deliver to Ms. Jane Burrell Johnson, Room 311, Immediately. Please note: Bidders mailing their bid(s) are advised to call Ms. Jane Burrell Johnson Frm 00080 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 E:\FR\FM\11FEN1.SGM 11FEN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 70, Number 28 (Friday, February 11, 2005)]
[Notices]
[Pages 7300-7303]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 05-2770]


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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Minerals Management Service


Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Central Gulf of Mexico (GOM) Oil 
and Gas Lease Sale 194

AGENCY: Minerals Management Service, Interior.

ACTION: Final Notice of Sale (FNOS) 194.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: On March 16, 2005, the MMS will open and publicly announce 
bids received for blocks offered in Central GOM Oil and Gas Lease Sale 
194, pursuant to the OCS Lands Act (43 U.S.C. 1331-1356, as amended) 
and the regulations issued thereunder (30 CFR part 256).
    The Final Notice of Sale 194 Package (FNOS 194 Package) contains 
information essential to bidders, and bidders are charged with the 
knowledge of the documents contained in the Package.

DATES: Public bid reading will begin at 9 a.m., Wednesday, March 16, 
2005, in the Hyatt Regency Conference Center (Cabildo Rooms), 500 
Poydras Plaza, New Orleans, Louisiana. All times referred to in this 
document are local New Orleans times, unless otherwise specified.

ADDRESSES: Bidders can obtain an FNOS 194 Package containing this 
Notice of Sale and several supporting and essential documents 
referenced herein from the MMS Gulf of Mexico Region Public Information 
Unit, 1201 Elmwood Park Boulevard, New Orleans, Louisiana 70123-2394, 
(504) 736-2519 or (800) 200-GULF, or via the MMS Internet Web site at 
http://www.mms.gov.
    Filing Of Bids: Bidders must submit sealed bids to the Regional 
Director (RD), MMS Gulf of Mexico Region, 1201 Elmwood Park Boulevard, 
New Orleans, Louisiana 70123-2394, between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. on normal 
working days, and from 8 a.m. to the Bid Submission Deadline of 10 a.m. 
on Tuesday, March 15, 2005. If the bids are mailed, please address the 
envelope containing all of the sealed bids as follows:
    Attention: Supervisor, Sales and Support Unit (MS 5422), Leasing 
Activities Section, MMS Gulf of Mexico Region, 1201 Elmwood Park 
Boulevard, New Orleans, Louisiana 70123-2394.
    Contains Sealed Bids for Oil and Gas Lease Sale 194.
    Please Deliver to Ms. Jane Burrell Johnson, Room 311, Immediately.

    Please note: Bidders mailing their bid(s) are advised to call 
Ms. Jane Burrell Johnson (504) 736-2811 immediately after putting 
their bid(s) in the mail.

    If the Regional Director receives bids later than the time and date 
specified above, he will return those bids unopened to bidders. Bidders 
may not modify or withdraw their bids unless the RD receives a written 
modification or written withdrawal request prior to 10 a.m. on Tuesday, 
March 15, 2005. Should an unexpected event such as flooding or travel 
restrictions be significantly disruptive to bid submission, the MMS 
Gulf of Mexico Region may extend the Bid Submission Deadline. Bidders 
may call (504) 736-0557 for information about the possible extension of 
the Bid Submission Deadline due to such an event.
    Areas Offered for Leasing: The MMS is offering for leasing all 
blocks and partial blocks listed in the document ``Blocks Available for 
Leasing in Central GOM Oil and Gas Lease Sale 194'' included in the 
FNOS 194 Package. All of these blocks are shown on the following 
Leasing Maps and Official Protraction Diagrams (which may be purchased 
from the MMS Gulf of Mexico Region Public Information Unit):

Outer Continental Shelf Leasing Maps--Louisiana Map Numbers 1 through 12
                  (These 30 maps sell for $2.00 each.)
LA1                          West Cameron Area (Revised November 1,
                              2000).
LA1A                         West Cameron Area, West Addition (Revised
                              November 1, 2000).
LA1B                         West Cameron Area, South Addition (Revised
                              November 1, 2000).

[[Page 7301]]

 
LA2                          East Cameron Area (Revised November 1,
                              2000).
LA2A                         East Cameron Area, South Addition (Revised
                              November 1, 2000).
LA3                          Vermilion Area (Revised November 1, 2000).
LA3A                         South Marsh Island Area (Revised November
                              1, 2000).
LA3B                         Vermilion Area, South Addition (Revised
                              November 1, 2000).
LA3C                         South Marsh Island Area, South Addition
                              (Revised November 1, 2000).
LA3D                         South Marsh Island Area, North Addition
                              (Revised November 1, 2000).
LA4                          Eugene Island Area (Revised November 1,
                              2000).
LA4A                         Eugene Island Area, South Addition (Revised
                              November 1, 2000).
LA5                          Ship Shoal Area (Revised November 1, 2000).
LA5A                         Ship Shoal Area, South Addition (Revised
                              November 1, 2000).
LA6                          South Timbalier Area (Revised November 1,
                              2000).
LA6A                         South Timbalier Area, South Addition
                              (Revised November 1, 2000).
LA6B                         South Pelto Area (Revised November 1,
                              2000).
LA6C                         Bay Marchand Area (Revised November 1,
                              2000).
LA7                          Grand Isle Area (Revised November 1, 2000).
LA7A                         Grand Isle Area, South Addition (Revised
                              February 17, 2004).
LA8                          West Delta Area (Revised November 1, 2000).
LA8A                         West Delta Area, South Addition (Revised
                              November 1, 2000).
LA9                          South Pass Area (Revised November 1, 2000).
LA9A                         South Pass Area, South and East Addition
                              (Revised November 1, 2000).
LA10                         Main Pass Area (Revised November 1, 2000).
LA10A                        Main Pass Area, South and East Addition
                              (Revised November 1, 2000).
LA10B                        Breton Sound Area (Revised November 1,
                              2000).
LA11                         Chandeleur Area (Revised November 1, 2000).
LA11A                        Chandeleur Area, East Addition (Revised
                              November 1, 2000).
LA12                         Sabine Pass Area (Revised November 1,
                              2000).
Outer Continental Shelf Official Protraction Diagrams (These 10 diagrams
                         sell for $2.00 each.)
NG15-03                      Green Canyon (Revised November 1, 2000).
NG15-06                      Walker Ridge (Revised November 1, 2000).
NG15-09                      Amery Terrace (Revised October 25, 2000).
NG16-01                      Atwater Valley (Revised November 1, 2000).
NG16-04                      Lund (Revised November 1, 2000).
NG16-07                      Lund South (Revised November 1, 2000).
NH15-12                      Ewing Bank (Revised November 1, 2000).
NH16-04                      Mobile (Revised November 1, 2000).
NH16-07                      Viosca Knoll (Revised November 1, 2000).
NH16-10                      Mississippi Canyon (Revised November 1,
                              2000).
 


    Please Note: A CD-ROM (in ARC/INFO and Acrobat (pdf) format) 
containing all of the GOM Leasing Maps and Official Protraction 
Diagrams, except for those not yet converted to digital format, is 
available from the MMS Gulf of Mexico Region Public Information Unit 
for a price of $15. For the current status of all Central GOM 
Leasing Maps and Official Protraction Diagrams, please refer to 66 
FR 28002 (published May 21, 2001) and 69 FR 23211 (published April 
28, 2004). In addition, Supplemental Official OCS Block Diagrams 
(SOBDs) for these blocks are available for blocks which contain the 
``U.S. 200 Nautical Mile Limit'' line and the ``U.S.-Mexico Maritime 
Boundary'' line. These SOBDs are also available from the MMS Gulf of 
Mexico Region Public Information Unit. For additional information, 
please call Ms. Tara Montgomery (504) 736-5722.
    All blocks are shown on these Leasing Maps and Official Protraction 
Diagrams. The available Federal acreage of all whole and partial blocks 
in this lease sale is shown in the document ``List of Blocks Available 
for Leasing in Lease Sale 194'' included in the FNOS 194 Package. Some 
of these blocks may be partially leased or transected by administrative 
lines such as the Federal/State jurisdictional line. A bid on a block 
must include all of the available Federal acreage of that block. Also, 
information on the unleased portions of such blocks is found in the 
document ``Central Gulf of Mexico Lease Sale 194--Unleased Split Blocks 
and Available Unleased Acreage of Blocks with Aliquots and Irregular 
Portions Under Lease or Deferred'' included in the FNOS 194 Package.
    Areas Not Available for Leasing: The following whole and partial 
blocks are not offered for lease in this lease sale:
     Blocks which are beyond the United States Exclusive 
Economic Zone in the area known as the Northern portion of the Eastern 
Gap:

Lund South (Area NG16-07)

Blocks: 172 and 173; 213 through 217; 252 through 261; 296 through 305; 
349
     Whole and partial blocks which lie within the 1.4 nautical 
mile buffer zone north of the continental shelf boundary between the 
United States and Mexico:

Amery Terrace (Area NG15-09)

Whole Blocks: 280 and 281; 318 through 320; 355 through 359
Partial Blocks: 235 through 238; 273 through 279; 309 through 317
    Statutes and Regulations: Each lease issued in this lease sale is 
subject to the OCS Lands Act of August 7, 1953, 67 Stat. 462; 43 U.S.C. 
1331 et seq., as amended (92 Stat. 629), hereinafter called ``the 
Act''; all regulations issued pursuant to the Act and in existence upon 
the Effective Date of the lease; all regulations issued pursuant to the 
statute in the future which provide for the prevention of waste and 
conservation of the natural resources of the OCS and the protection of 
correlative rights therein; and all other applicable statutes and 
regulations.
    Lease Terms and Conditions: Initial period, extensions of initial 
period, minimum bonus bid amount, rental rates, royalty rates, minimum 
royalty, and royalty suspension areas are shown on the map ``Lease 
Terms and Economic Conditions, Lease Sale 194, Final'' for leases 
resulting from this lease sale:
    Initial Period: 5 years for blocks in water depths of less than 400 
meters; 8 years for blocks in water depths of 400 to less than 800 
meters; and 10 years for blocks in water depths of 800 meters or 
deeper;
    Extensions of Initial Period: Extensions may be granted for 
eligible leases on blocks in water depths less than 400 meters as 
specified in NTL No. 2000-G22;
    Minimum Bonus Bid Amount: A bonus bid will not be considered for

[[Page 7302]]

acceptance unless it provides for a cash bonus in the amount of $25 or 
more per acre or fraction thereof for blocks in water depths of less 
than 400 meters or $37.50 or more per acre or fraction thereof for 
blocks in water depths of 400 meters or deeper; see ``List of Blocks 
Available for Leasing'' contained in the FNOS 194 Package to confirm 
the exact calculation of the minimum bonus bid amount for each block;
    Rental Rates: $5 per acre or fraction thereof for blocks in water 
depths of less than 200 meters and $7.50 per acre or fraction thereof 
for blocks in water depths of 200 meters or deeper, to be paid on or 
before the first day of each lease year until a discovery in paying 
quantities of oil or gas, then at the expiration of each lease year 
until the start of royalty-bearing production;
    Royalty Rates: 16-2/3 percent royalty rate for blocks in water 
depths of less than 400 meters and a 12-1/2 percent royalty rate for 
blocks in water depths of 400 meters or deeper, except during periods 
of royalty suspension, to be paid monthly on the last day of the month 
next following the month during which the production is obtained;
    Minimum Royalty: After the start of royalty-bearing production: $5 
per acre or fraction thereof per year for blocks in water depths of 
less than 200 meters and $7.50 per acre or fraction thereof per year 
for blocks in water depths of 200 meters or deeper, to be paid at the 
expiration of each lease year with credit applied for actual royalty 
paid during the lease year. If actual royalty paid exceeds the minimum 
royalty requirement, then no minimum royalty payment is due;
    Royalty Suspension Areas: Royalty suspension, subject to deep gas 
price thresholds, will apply to blocks in water depths less than 200 
meters where deep gas (typically 15,000 feet or greater subsea) is 
drilled and commences production before May 3, 2009. In addition, 
subject to both oil and gas price thresholds, royalty suspension will 
apply in water depths of 400 meters or deeper. See the map ``Lease 
Terms and Economic Conditions, Lease Sale 194, Final'' for specific 
areas and the ``Royalty Suspension Provisions, Lease Sale 194, Final'' 
document contained in the FNOS 194 Package for specific details 
regarding royalty suspension eligibility, applicable price thresholds 
and implementation.
    Lease Stipulations: One or more of eight lease stipulations apply: 
(1) Topographic Features; (2) Live Bottoms; (3) Military Areas; (4) 
Blocks South of Baldwin County, Alabama; (5) Law of the Sea Convention 
Royalty Payment; (6) Protected Species; (7) Limitation on Use of Seabed 
and Water Column in the Vicinity of an Approved Offshore Liquefied 
Natural Gas (LNG) Deepwater Port Receiving Terminal; and (8) Below 
Seabed Operations on Mississippi Canyon Block 920. Please see the 
``Stipulations and Deferred Blocks, Lease Sale 194, Final'' map. The 
texts of the lease stipulations are contained in the document ``Lease 
Stipulations for Oil and Gas Lease Sale 194, Final'' included in the 
FNOS 194 Package.
    Information to Lessees: The FNOS 194 Package contains an 
``Information To Lessees'' document which provides detailed information 
on certain specific issues pertaining to this oil and gas lease sale.
    Method of Bidding: For each block bid upon, a bidder must submit a 
separate signed bid in a sealed envelope labeled ``Sealed Bid for Oil 
and Gas Lease Sale 194, not to be opened until 9 a.m., Wednesday, March 
16, 2005.'' The total amount of the bid must be in a whole dollar 
amount; any cent amount above the whole dollar will be ignored by the 
MMS. Details of the information required on the bid(s) and the bid 
envelope(s) are specified in the document ``Bid Form and Envelope'' 
contained in the FNOS 194 Package.
    The MMS published in the Federal Register a list of restricted 
joint bidders, which applies to this lease sale, at 69 FR 61402 on 
October 18, 2004. Bidders must execute all documents in conformance 
with signatory authorizations on file in the MMS Gulf of Mexico Region 
Adjudication Unit. Partnerships also must submit or have on file a list 
of signatories authorized to bind the partnership. Bidders submitting 
joint bids must include on the bid form the proportionate interest of 
each participating bidder, stated as a percentage, using a maximum of 
five decimal places, e.g., 33.33333 percent. The MMS may require 
bidders to submit other documents in accordance with 30 CFR 256.46. The 
MMS warns bidders against violation of 18 U.S.C. 1860 prohibiting 
unlawful combination or intimidation of bidders. Bidders are advised 
that the MMS considers the signed bid to be a legally binding 
obligation on the part of the bidder(s) to comply with all applicable 
regulations, including payment of the one-fifth bonus bid amount on all 
high bids. A statement to this effect must be included on each bid (see 
the document ``Bid Form and Envelope'' contained in the FNOS 194 
Package).
    Rounding: The following procedure must be used to calculate the 
minimum bonus bid, annual rental, and minimum royalty: Round up to the 
next whole dollar amount if the calculation results in a decimal figure 
(see next paragraph).

    Please note: The minimum bonus bid calculation, including all 
rounding, is shown in the document ``List of Blocks Available for 
Leasing in Lease Sale 194'' included in the FNOS 194 Package.

    Bonus Bid Deposit: Each bidder submitting an apparent high bid must 
submit a bonus bid deposit to the MMS equal to one-fifth of the bonus 
bid amount for each such bid. Under the authority granted by 30 CFR 
256.46(b), the MMS requires bidders to use electronic funds transfer 
procedures for payment of one-fifth bonus bid deposits for Lease Sale 
194, following the detailed instructions contained in the document 
``Instructions for Making EFT Bonus Payments'' included in the FNOS 194 
Package. All payments must be electronically deposited into an 
interest-bearing account in the U.S. Treasury (account specified in the 
EFT instructions) by 1:00 p.m. Eastern Time the day following bid 
reading. Such a deposit does not constitute and shall not be construed 
as acceptance of any bid on behalf of the United States. If a lease is 
awarded, however, MMS requests that only one transaction be used for 
payment of the four-fifths bonus bid amount and the first year's 
rental.

    Please note: Certain bid submitters (i.e., those that are NOT 
currently an OCS mineral lease record title holder or designated 
operator OR those that have ever defaulted on a one-fifth bonus bid 
payment (EFT or otherwise)) are required to guarantee (secure) their 
one-fifth bonus bid payment prior to the submission of bids. For 
those who must secure the EFT one-fifth bonus bid payment, one of 
the following options may be used: (1) Provide a third-party 
guarantee; (2) Amend development bond coverage; (3) Provide a letter 
of credit; or (4) Provide a lump sum payment in advance via EFT. The 
EFT instructions specify the requirements for each option.

    Withdrawal of Blocks: The United States reserves the right to 
withdraw any block from this lease sale prior to issuance of a written 
acceptance of a bid for the block.
    Acceptance, Rejection, or Return of Bids: The United States 
reserves the right to reject any and all bids. In any case, no bid will 
be accepted, and no lease for any block will be awarded to any bidder, 
unless the bidder has complied with all requirements of this Notice, 
including the documents contained in the associated FNOS 194 Package 
and applicable regulations; the bid is the highest valid bid; and the 
amount of the bid has been determined to be adequate by the authorized 
officer. Any bid submitted which does not conform to the requirements 
of this

[[Page 7303]]

Notice, the Act, and other applicable regulations may be returned to 
the person submitting that bid by the RD and not considered for 
acceptance. The Attorney General may also review the results of the 
lease sale prior to the acceptance of bids and issuance of leases. To 
ensure that the Government receives a fair return for the conveyance of 
lease rights for this lease sale, high bids will be evaluated in 
accordance with MMS bid adequacy procedures. A copy of current 
procedures, ``Modifications to the Bid Adequacy Procedures'' at 64 FR 
37560 on July 12, 1999, can be obtained from the MMS Gulf of Mexico 
Region Public Information Unit.
    Successful Bidders: As required by the MMS, each company that has 
been awarded a lease must execute all copies of the lease (Form MMS-
2005 (March 1986) as amended), pay by EFT the balance of the bonus bid 
amount and the first year's rental for each lease issued in accordance 
with the requirements of 30 CFR 218.155, and satisfy the bonding 
requirements of 30 CFR part 256, subpart I, as amended.
    Also, in accordance with regulations at 43 CFR, part 42, subpart C, 
the lessee shall comply with the U.S. Department of the Interior's 
nonprocurement debarment and suspension requirements and agrees to 
communicate this requirement to comply with these regulations to 
persons with whom the lessee does business as it relates to this lease 
by including this term as a condition to enter into their contracts and 
other transactions.
    Affirmative Action: The MMS requests that, prior to bidding, Equal 
Opportunity Affirmative Action Representation Form MMS 2032 (June 1985) 
and Equal Opportunity Compliance Report Certification Form MMS 2033 
(June 1985) be on file in the MMS Gulf of Mexico Region Adjudication 
Unit. This certification is required by 41 CFR part 60 and Executive 
Order No. 11246 of September 24, 1965, as amended by Executive Order 
No. 11375 of October 13, 1967. In any event, prior to the execution of 
any lease contract, both forms are required to be on file in the MMS 
Gulf of Mexico Region Adjudication Unit.
    Geophysical Data and Information Statement: Pursuant to 30 CFR 
251.12, the MMS has a right to access geophysical data and information 
collected under a permit in the OCS. Every bidder submitting a bid on a 
block in Sale 194, or participating as a joint bidder in such a bid, 
must submit a Geophysical Data and Information Statement identifying 
any processed or reprocessed pre- and post-stack depth migrated 
geophysical data and information in its possession or control and used 
in the evaluation of that block. The existence, extent (i.e., number of 
line miles for 2D or number of blocks for 3D) and type of such data and 
information must be clearly identified. The statement must include the 
name and phone number of a contact person, and an alternate, 
knowledgeable about the depth data sets (that were processed or 
reprocessed to correct for depth) used in evaluating the block. In the 
event such data and information includes data sets from different 
timeframes, you should identify only the most recent data set used for 
block evaluations.
    The statement must also identify each block upon which a bidder 
participated in a bid but for which it does not possess or control such 
depth data and information.
    Every bidder must submit a separate Geophysical Data and 
Information Statement in a sealed envelope. The envelope should be 
labeled ``Geophysical Data and Information Statement for Oil and Gas 
Lease Sale 194'' and the bidder's name and qualification number must be 
clearly identified on the outside of the envelope. This statement must 
be submitted to the MMS at the Gulf of Mexico Regional Office, 
Attention: Resource Evaluation (1201 Elmwood Park Boulevard, New 
Orleans, Louisiana 70123-2394) by 10 a.m. on Tuesday, March 15, 2005. 
The statement may be submitted in conjunction with the bids or 
separately. Do not include this statement in the same envelope 
containing a bid. These statements will not be opened until after the 
public bid reading at Lease Sale 194 and will be kept confidential. An 
Example of Preferred Format for the Geophysical Data and Information 
Statement is included in the FNOS 194 Package.
    Please refer to NTL No. 2003-G05 for more detail concerning 
submission of the Geophysical Data and Information Statement, making 
the data available to the MMS following the lease sale, preferred 
format, reimbursement for costs, and confidentiality.

    Dated: February 3, 2005.
R.M. ``Johnnie'' Burton,
Director, Minerals Management Service.
[FR Doc. 05-2770 Filed 2-10-05; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4310-MR-P