Oil and Gas Lease Acreage Limitation Exemptions and Reinstatement of Oil and Gas Leases, 14821-14823 [06-2848]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 57 / Friday, March 24, 2006 / Rules and Regulations generally provides that before a rule may take effect, the agency promulgating the rule must submit a rule report, which includes a copy of the rule, to each House of the Congress and to the Comptroller General of the United States. EPA will submit a report containing this rule and other required information to the U.S. Senate, the U.S. House of Representatives, and the Comptroller General of the United States prior to publication of the rule in the Federal Register. A major rule cannot take effect until 60 days after it is published in the Federal Register. This action is not a ‘‘major rule’’ as defined by 5 U.S.C. section 804(2). Under section 307(b)(1) of the CAA, petitions for judicial review of this action must be filed in the United States Court of Appeals for the appropriate circuit by May 23, 2006. Filing a petition for reconsideration by the Administrator of this final rule does not affect the finality of this rule for the purposes of judicial review nor does it extend the time within which a petition for judicial review may be filed, and shall not postpone the effectiveness of such rule or action. This action may not be challenged later in proceedings to enforce its requirements. (See section 307(b)(2).) List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52 Environmental protection, Air pollution control, Carbon monoxide, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Intergovernmental relations, Ozone. Dated: March 14, 2006. A. Stanley Maiburg, Acting Regional Administrator, Region 4. 14821 PART 52—[AMENDED] 1. The authority citation for part 52 continues to read as follows: I Authority: 42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq. Subpart II—North Carolina 2. Section 52.1770 (e) is amended by adding a new entry at the end of the table for ‘‘Charlotte, Raleigh-Durham, and Winston-Salem Carbon Monoxide Second 10-Year Maintenance Plan’’ to read as follows: I § 52.1770 * Identification of plan. * * (e) * * * * * 40 CFR part 52, is amended as follows: I EPA-APPROVED NORTH CAROLINA NON-REGULATORY PROVISIONS Provision State effective date EPA approval date * * * * Charlotte, Raleigh-Durham, and Winston-Salem Carbon Monoxide Second 10-Year Maintenance Plan. * March 18, 2005 ....... * March 24, 2006 ....... This final rule is effective March 24, 2006. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jay Douglas in the Fluid Minerals Group at (202) 452–0336. For assistance in reaching Mr. Douglas, persons who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1– 800–877–8339, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: DATES: [FR Doc. 06–2870 Filed 3–23–06; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560–50–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Land Management 43 CFR Part 3100 [WO–310–1310–PP–241A] RIN 1004–AD83 Oil and Gas Lease Acreage Limitation Exemptions and Reinstatement of Oil and Gas Leases Bureau of Land Management, Department of the Interior. ACTION: Final rule. cprice-sewell on PROD1PC66 with RULES AGENCY: SUMMARY: The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is issuing this final rule to amend its regulations to conform to provisions of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPAct) that changed oil and gas lease acreage limitations and oil and gas lease reinstatement provisions. Section 352 of the EPAct expands the types of lease holdings that are exempt from the lease acreage holding limitations. Section 371 of the EPAct extends the time to file a lease reinstatement petition from 15 months to 24 months. VerDate Aug<31>2005 14:17 Mar 23, 2006 Jkt 208001 I. Background II. Discussion of the Final Rule III. Procedural Matters I. Background Section 184(d) of the Mineral Leasing Act of 1920 limited the amount of acreage a Federal oil and gas lessee may hold in any one state to 246,080 acres. That section also provides that certain types of acreage holdings are exempt from those limitations. Section 352 of the EPAct amended the Mineral Leasing Act to expand the types of acreage holdings that are exempt from the limitations imposed by the Act. Section 188(d) of the Mineral Leasing Act of 1920 provides for reinstatement, under certain circumstances, of Federal oil and gas leases that were terminated for nonpayment of rental. Section 371 of the EPAct amended that section of the PO 00000 Frm 00027 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 Federal Register citation * [Insert first page of publication] Act by extending the maximum time for a lessee to submit a petition for reinstatement to the BLM. The BLM finds good cause to omit the general notice of proposed rulemaking required by 5 U.S.C. 553(b). The notice and comment are unnecessary because the terms of the EPAct are very clear and provide no room for interpretation. Both changes are required by the EPAct, are not discretionary on the part of the Secretary of the Interior, and would implement clear and mandatory provisions of a recently enacted statute. For all the reasons noted above, the BLM further finds good cause to waive the delay in effectiveness in 5 U.S.C. 553(d). In addition, the provisions of the revised regulations do not require any change in conduct by the public and have been known to the public since the EPAct’s enactment in August 2005. II. Discussion of the Final Rule This final rule will implement the changes to the 43 CFR Part 3100 regulations that are required because of amendments Sections 352 and 371 of the EPAct made to the Mineral Leasing Act. A section-by-section discussion of the changes follows: Section 3101.2–3 Excepted Acreage This section is revised to add the following to the list of acreage that will E:\FR\FM\24MRR1.SGM 24MRR1 14822 Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 57 / Friday, March 24, 2006 / Rules and Regulations not be included in computing accountable acreage: (A) Communitization agreements; and (B) Acreage in leases for which royalty (including compensatory royalty or royalty in-kind) was paid in the preceding calendar year. This section previously stated that acreage in a communitization agreement should not be exempted and the section did not include leases for which royalty (including compensatory royalty or royalty in-kind) was paid in the preceding calendar year. The other categories of excepted acreage, such as acreage subject to an operating, drilling, or development contract, are renumbered but not changed. Section 3108.2–3 Reinstatement at Higher Rental and Royalty Rates: Class II Reinstatements Paragraph (b)(1) of this section is revised by limiting its application to leases that terminated on or before August 8, 2005, the date of enactment of EPAct. Under this new section, if a lease terminated on or before August 8, 2005, any form of actual notice, including a return of a check, constitutes notice of termination. The provisions of this paragraph are not changed except as to the period to which it applies, i.e. leases that terminated for underpayment of rental, before August 8, 2005. This section is further revised by adding a new paragraph (b)(2) that addresses the timing of submission of petitions for reinstatement for leases that terminated after August 8, 2005. Under this new section, if a lease terminated after August 8, 2005, the BLM can reinstate the lease if the lessee submitted a petition for reinstatement and the required back rental and royalty at the increased rate accruing from the date of termination by the earlier of: (A) Sixty days after the last date that any lessee of record received Notice of Termination by certified mail; or (B) Twenty four months after termination of the lease. This provision is similar to previous section 3108.2–3(b)(1) except that it increases the maximum amount of time to submit a petition for reinstatement from 15 months to 24 months. III. Procedural Matters cprice-sewell on PROD1PC66 with RULES Executive Order 12866, Regulatory Planning and Review These final regulations are not a significant regulatory action and are not subject to review by Office of Management and Budget under Executive Order 12866. These final regulations will not have an effect of $100 million or more on the economy. VerDate Aug<31>2005 14:17 Mar 23, 2006 Jkt 208001 They will not adversely affect in a material way the economy, productivity, competition, jobs, the environment, public health or safety, or State, local, or tribal governments or communities. These final regulations will not create a serious inconsistency or otherwise interfere with an action taken or planned by another agency. These final regulations do not alter the budgetary effects of entitlements, grants, user fees, or loan programs or the right or obligations of their recipients; nor do they raise novel legal or policy issues. This final rule expands the types of lease holdings that are exempt from the lease acreage holding limitations and extends the time to file a lease reinstatement petition from 15 months to 24 months. These provisions are administrative in nature and have the potential for only minor economic impacts, however, the economic impact is not a result of this rulemaking, as both changes are required by the EPAct and are not discretionary on the part of the Secretary of the Interior. National Environmental Policy Act The BLM has determined that this final rule is essentially administrative in nature. This qualifies for a categorical exclusion under 516 Departmental Manual (DM) Chapter 2, Appendix 1.10. Therefore, it is categorically excluded from environmental review under section 102(2)(C) of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), pursuant to 516 DM, Chapter 2, Appendix 1. In addition, the final rule does not meet any of the 10 criteria for exceptions to categorical exclusions listed in 516 DM, Chapter 2, Appendix 2. Pursuant to Council on Environmental Quality regulations (40 CFR 1508.4) and the environmental policies and procedures of the Department of the Interior, the term ‘‘categorical exclusions’’ means a category of actions which do not individually or cumulatively have a significant effect on the human environment and that have been found to have no such effect in procedures adopted by a Federal agency and for which neither an environmental assessment nor an environmental impact statement is required. Regulatory Flexibility Act Congress enacted the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) of 1980, as amended, 5 U.S.C. 601–612, to ensure that Government regulations do not unnecessarily or disproportionately burden small entities. The RFA requires a regulatory flexibility analysis if a rule would have a significant economic impact, either detrimental or beneficial, PO 00000 Frm 00028 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 on a substantial number of small entities. The final regulations will have no effect on any small entities. These provisions are administrative in nature and have the potential for only minor economic impacts, however, the economic impact is not a result of this rulemaking, as both changes are required by the EPAct and are not discretionary on the part of the Secretary of the Interior. Therefore, the BLM has determined under the RFA that this final rule would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act These final regulations are not a ‘‘major rule’’ as defined at 5 U.S.C. 804(2). These provisions are administrative in nature and have the potential for only minor economic impacts, however, the economic impact is not a result of this rulemaking, as both changes are required by the EPAct and are not discretionary on the part of the Secretary of the Interior. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act These final regulations do not impose an unfunded mandate on State, local, or tribal governments or the private sector of more than $100 million per year; nor do these final regulations have a significant or unique effect on State, local, or tribal governments or the private sector. The final rule will not impose any mandate on State, local, or tribal governments or the private sector. The regulations implement clear and mandatory provisions of a recently enacted statute. These provisions are administrative in nature and have the potential for only minor economic impacts, however, the economic impact is not a result of this rulemaking, as both changes are required by the EPAct and are not discretionary on the part of the Secretary of the Interior. Therefore, the BLM is not required to prepare a statement containing the information required by the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (2 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.). Executive Order 12630, Governmental Actions and Interference With Constitutionally Protected Property Rights (Takings) The final rule does not represent a government action capable of interfering with constitutionally protected property rights. The final rule has no effects that could be considered a taking. The final regulation is essentially administrative in nature, and assists rather than restricts the continued holding of leases by their current private owners, by relaxing acreage holding limitations and E:\FR\FM\24MRR1.SGM 24MRR1 Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 57 / Friday, March 24, 2006 / Rules and Regulations giving a longer period of time to seek reinstatement of lapsed leases. Therefore, the Department of the Interior has determined that the rule would not cause a taking of private property or require further discussion of takings implications under this Executive Order. maximum amount of time to petition for lease reinstatement in certain circumstances may result in an increase in oil and gas production of unknown amounts. It does not impose a regulatory burden on any lessee. Executive Order 13132, Federalism The final rule will not have a substantial direct effect on the States, on the relationship between the national government and the States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government. The final rule will have no effect on the States, on the relationship between the national government and the states, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government. The final regulation is essentially administrative in nature, merely expanding the types of lease holdings that are exempt from the lease acreage holding limitations and extending the maximum time to file a lease reinstatement petition from 15 months to 24 months. Therefore, in accordance with Executive Order 13132, the BLM has determined that this final rule does not have sufficient Federalism implications to warrant preparation of a Federalism Assessment. In accordance with Executive Order 13352, the BLM has determined that this final rule is administrative in nature, merely expanding the types of lease holdings that are exempt from the lease acreage holding limitations and extending the maximum time to file a lease reinstatement petition from 15 months to 24 months. This rule does not impede facilitating cooperative conservation; takes appropriate account of and considers the interests of persons with ownership or other legally recognized interests in land or other natural resources; has no effect on local participation in the Federal decisionmaking process; and does not affect programs, projects, and activities having to do with protecting public health and safety. Executive Order 12988, Civil Justice Reform Under Executive Order 12988, the Office of the Solicitor has determined that this final rule would not unduly burden the judicial system and that it meets the requirements of sections 3(a) and 3(b)(2) of the Order. cprice-sewell on PROD1PC66 with RULES Executive Order 13175, Consultation and Coordination With Indian Tribal Governments In accordance with Executive Order 13175, the BLM has determined that this rule has no impact on Tribal lands because the BLM’s part 3100 regulations do not apply to Tribal lands. Executive Order 13211, Actions Concerning Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use In accordance with Executive Order 13211, the BLM has determined that the final rule will not have substantial direct effects on the energy supply, distribution or use, including a shortfall in supply or price increase. This rule does not represent the exercise of agency discretion. Congress’ mandate to expand the types of holdings that are exempt from the acreage holding limitations and to increase the VerDate Aug<31>2005 14:17 Mar 23, 2006 Jkt 208001 Executive Order 13352, Facilitation of Cooperative Conservation Paperwork Reduction Act The BLM has determined that this rulemaking does not contain any new information collection requirements that the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) must approve under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.). The OMB has approved the information collection requirements in the regulations under OMB control number 1004–0185 which expires June 30, 2006. Author The principal author of this rule is Jay Douglas of BLM’s Fluid Minerals Group (WO320) assisted by Ian Senio of BLM’s Regulatory Affairs Group and Dennis Daugherty, Office of the Solicitor, Department of the Interior. List of Subjects in 43 CFR Part 3100 Government contracts; Mineral royalties; Oil and gas exploration; Public lands—mineral resources; Reporting and recordkeeping requirements; Surety bonds. Dated: March 10, 2006. Chad Calvert, Acting, Assistant Secretary, For Land and Minerals Management. Accordingly, BLM amends 43 CFR part 3100, as set forth below: I PART 3100—OIL AND GAS LEASING 1. Revise the authority citation for part 3100 to read as follows: I PO 00000 Frm 00029 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 14823 Authority: 30 U.S.C. 189 and 359; 43 U.S.C. 1732(b), 1733, and 1740; and the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (Pub. L. 109–58). 2. Amend § 3101.2–3 by designating the first sentence of the section as paragraph (a) and the second sentence of the section as paragraph (b) and by revising newly designated paragraph (a) to read as follows: I § 3101.2–3 Excepted acreage. (a) The following acreage shall not be included in computing accountable acreage: (1) Acreage under any lease any portion of which is committed to any Federally approved unit or cooperative plan or communitization agreement; (2) Acreage under any lease for which royalty (including compensatory royalty or royalty in-kind) was paid in the preceding calendar year; and (3) Acreage under leases subject to an operating, drilling or development contract approved by the Secretary. * * * * * 3. Amend § 3108.2–3 by redesignating paragraph (b)(1) and (b)(2) as paragraphs (b)(2) and (b)(3), respectively, adding a new paragraph (b)(1), and revising newly designated paragraph (b)(2) to read as follows: I § 3108.2–3 Reinstatement at higher rental and royalty rates: Class II reinstatements. * * * * * (b)(1) Leases that terminate on or before August 8, 2005, may be reinstated if the required back rental and royalty at the increased rates accruing from the date of termination, together with a petition for reinstatement, are filed on or before the earlier of: (i) Sixty days after the receipt of the Notice of Termination sent to the lessee of record, whether by return of check or any form of actual notice; or (ii) Fifteen months after termination of the lease. (2) Leases that terminate after August 8, 2005 may be reinstated if the required back rental and royalty at the increased rates accruing from the date of termination, together with a petition for reinstatement, are filed on or before the earlier of: (i) Sixty days after the last date that any lessee of record received Notice of Termination by certified mail; or (ii) Twenty four months after termination of the lease. * * * * * [FR Doc. 06–2848 Filed 3–23–06; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310–84–P E:\FR\FM\24MRR1.SGM 24MRR1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 71, Number 57 (Friday, March 24, 2006)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 14821-14823]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 06-2848]


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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Bureau of Land Management

43 CFR Part 3100

[WO-310-1310-PP-241A]
RIN 1004-AD83


Oil and Gas Lease Acreage Limitation Exemptions and Reinstatement 
of Oil and Gas Leases

AGENCY: Bureau of Land Management, Department of the Interior.

ACTION: Final rule.

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

SUMMARY: The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is issuing this final rule 
to amend its regulations to conform to provisions of the Energy Policy 
Act of 2005 (EPAct) that changed oil and gas lease acreage limitations 
and oil and gas lease reinstatement provisions. Section 352 of the 
EPAct expands the types of lease holdings that are exempt from the 
lease acreage holding limitations. Section 371 of the EPAct extends the 
time to file a lease reinstatement petition from 15 months to 24 
months.

DATES: This final rule is effective March 24, 2006.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jay Douglas in the Fluid Minerals 
Group at (202) 452-0336. For assistance in reaching Mr. Douglas, 
persons who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may call 
the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1-800-877-8339, 24 
hours a day, 7 days a week.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Background
II. Discussion of the Final Rule
III. Procedural Matters

I. Background

    Section 184(d) of the Mineral Leasing Act of 1920 limited the 
amount of acreage a Federal oil and gas lessee may hold in any one 
state to 246,080 acres. That section also provides that certain types 
of acreage holdings are exempt from those limitations. Section 352 of 
the EPAct amended the Mineral Leasing Act to expand the types of 
acreage holdings that are exempt from the limitations imposed by the 
Act.
    Section 188(d) of the Mineral Leasing Act of 1920 provides for 
reinstatement, under certain circumstances, of Federal oil and gas 
leases that were terminated for nonpayment of rental. Section 371 of 
the EPAct amended that section of the Act by extending the maximum time 
for a lessee to submit a petition for reinstatement to the BLM.
    The BLM finds good cause to omit the general notice of proposed 
rulemaking required by 5 U.S.C. 553(b). The notice and comment are 
unnecessary because the terms of the EPAct are very clear and provide 
no room for interpretation. Both changes are required by the EPAct, are 
not discretionary on the part of the Secretary of the Interior, and 
would implement clear and mandatory provisions of a recently enacted 
statute. For all the reasons noted above, the BLM further finds good 
cause to waive the delay in effectiveness in 5 U.S.C. 553(d). In 
addition, the provisions of the revised regulations do not require any 
change in conduct by the public and have been known to the public since 
the EPAct's enactment in August 2005.

II. Discussion of the Final Rule

    This final rule will implement the changes to the 43 CFR Part 3100 
regulations that are required because of amendments Sections 352 and 
371 of the EPAct made to the Mineral Leasing Act. A section-by-section 
discussion of the changes follows:

Section 3101.2-3 Excepted Acreage

    This section is revised to add the following to the list of acreage 
that will

[[Page 14822]]

not be included in computing accountable acreage:
    (A) Communitization agreements; and
    (B) Acreage in leases for which royalty (including compensatory 
royalty or royalty in-kind) was paid in the preceding calendar year.
    This section previously stated that acreage in a communitization 
agreement should not be exempted and the section did not include leases 
for which royalty (including compensatory royalty or royalty in-kind) 
was paid in the preceding calendar year. The other categories of 
excepted acreage, such as acreage subject to an operating, drilling, or 
development contract, are renumbered but not changed.

Section 3108.2-3 Reinstatement at Higher Rental and Royalty Rates: 
Class II Reinstatements

    Paragraph (b)(1) of this section is revised by limiting its 
application to leases that terminated on or before August 8, 2005, the 
date of enactment of EPAct. Under this new section, if a lease 
terminated on or before August 8, 2005, any form of actual notice, 
including a return of a check, constitutes notice of termination. The 
provisions of this paragraph are not changed except as to the period to 
which it applies, i.e. leases that terminated for underpayment of 
rental, before August 8, 2005.
    This section is further revised by adding a new paragraph (b)(2) 
that addresses the timing of submission of petitions for reinstatement 
for leases that terminated after August 8, 2005. Under this new 
section, if a lease terminated after August 8, 2005, the BLM can 
reinstate the lease if the lessee submitted a petition for 
reinstatement and the required back rental and royalty at the increased 
rate accruing from the date of termination by the earlier of:
    (A) Sixty days after the last date that any lessee of record 
received Notice of Termination by certified mail; or
    (B) Twenty four months after termination of the lease.
    This provision is similar to previous section 3108.2-3(b)(1) except 
that it increases the maximum amount of time to submit a petition for 
reinstatement from 15 months to 24 months.

III. Procedural Matters

Executive Order 12866, Regulatory Planning and Review

    These final regulations are not a significant regulatory action and 
are not subject to review by Office of Management and Budget under 
Executive Order 12866. These final regulations will not have an effect 
of $100 million or more on the economy. They will not adversely affect 
in a material way the economy, productivity, competition, jobs, the 
environment, public health or safety, or State, local, or tribal 
governments or communities. These final regulations will not create a 
serious inconsistency or otherwise interfere with an action taken or 
planned by another agency. These final regulations do not alter the 
budgetary effects of entitlements, grants, user fees, or loan programs 
or the right or obligations of their recipients; nor do they raise 
novel legal or policy issues.
    This final rule expands the types of lease holdings that are exempt 
from the lease acreage holding limitations and extends the time to file 
a lease reinstatement petition from 15 months to 24 months. These 
provisions are administrative in nature and have the potential for only 
minor economic impacts, however, the economic impact is not a result of 
this rulemaking, as both changes are required by the EPAct and are not 
discretionary on the part of the Secretary of the Interior.

National Environmental Policy Act

    The BLM has determined that this final rule is essentially 
administrative in nature. This qualifies for a categorical exclusion 
under 516 Departmental Manual (DM) Chapter 2, Appendix 1.10. Therefore, 
it is categorically excluded from environmental review under section 
102(2)(C) of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), pursuant to 
516 DM, Chapter 2, Appendix 1. In addition, the final rule does not 
meet any of the 10 criteria for exceptions to categorical exclusions 
listed in 516 DM, Chapter 2, Appendix 2. Pursuant to Council on 
Environmental Quality regulations (40 CFR 1508.4) and the environmental 
policies and procedures of the Department of the Interior, the term 
``categorical exclusions'' means a category of actions which do not 
individually or cumulatively have a significant effect on the human 
environment and that have been found to have no such effect in 
procedures adopted by a Federal agency and for which neither an 
environmental assessment nor an environmental impact statement is 
required.

Regulatory Flexibility Act

    Congress enacted the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) of 1980, as 
amended, 5 U.S.C. 601-612, to ensure that Government regulations do not 
unnecessarily or disproportionately burden small entities. The RFA 
requires a regulatory flexibility analysis if a rule would have a 
significant economic impact, either detrimental or beneficial, on a 
substantial number of small entities. The final regulations will have 
no effect on any small entities. These provisions are administrative in 
nature and have the potential for only minor economic impacts, however, 
the economic impact is not a result of this rulemaking, as both changes 
are required by the EPAct and are not discretionary on the part of the 
Secretary of the Interior. Therefore, the BLM has determined under the 
RFA that this final rule would not have a significant economic impact 
on a substantial number of small entities.

Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act

    These final regulations are not a ``major rule'' as defined at 5 
U.S.C. 804(2). These provisions are administrative in nature and have 
the potential for only minor economic impacts, however, the economic 
impact is not a result of this rulemaking, as both changes are required 
by the EPAct and are not discretionary on the part of the Secretary of 
the Interior.

Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

    These final regulations do not impose an unfunded mandate on State, 
local, or tribal governments or the private sector of more than $100 
million per year; nor do these final regulations have a significant or 
unique effect on State, local, or tribal governments or the private 
sector. The final rule will not impose any mandate on State, local, or 
tribal governments or the private sector. The regulations implement 
clear and mandatory provisions of a recently enacted statute. These 
provisions are administrative in nature and have the potential for only 
minor economic impacts, however, the economic impact is not a result of 
this rulemaking, as both changes are required by the EPAct and are not 
discretionary on the part of the Secretary of the Interior. Therefore, 
the BLM is not required to prepare a statement containing the 
information required by the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (2 U.S.C. 1531 
et seq.).

Executive Order 12630, Governmental Actions and Interference With 
Constitutionally Protected Property Rights (Takings)

    The final rule does not represent a government action capable of 
interfering with constitutionally protected property rights. The final 
rule has no effects that could be considered a taking. The final 
regulation is essentially administrative in nature, and assists rather 
than restricts the continued holding of leases by their current private 
owners, by relaxing acreage holding limitations and

[[Page 14823]]

giving a longer period of time to seek reinstatement of lapsed leases. 
Therefore, the Department of the Interior has determined that the rule 
would not cause a taking of private property or require further 
discussion of takings implications under this Executive Order.

Executive Order 13132, Federalism

    The final rule will not have a substantial direct effect on the 
States, on the relationship between the national government and the 
States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the 
various levels of government. The final rule will have no effect on the 
States, on the relationship between the national government and the 
states, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the 
various levels of government. The final regulation is essentially 
administrative in nature, merely expanding the types of lease holdings 
that are exempt from the lease acreage holding limitations and 
extending the maximum time to file a lease reinstatement petition from 
15 months to 24 months. Therefore, in accordance with Executive Order 
13132, the BLM has determined that this final rule does not have 
sufficient Federalism implications to warrant preparation of a 
Federalism Assessment.

Executive Order 12988, Civil Justice Reform

    Under Executive Order 12988, the Office of the Solicitor has 
determined that this final rule would not unduly burden the judicial 
system and that it meets the requirements of sections 3(a) and 3(b)(2) 
of the Order.

Executive Order 13175, Consultation and Coordination With Indian Tribal 
Governments

    In accordance with Executive Order 13175, the BLM has determined 
that this rule has no impact on Tribal lands because the BLM's part 
3100 regulations do not apply to Tribal lands.

Executive Order 13211, Actions Concerning Regulations That 
Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use

    In accordance with Executive Order 13211, the BLM has determined 
that the final rule will not have substantial direct effects on the 
energy supply, distribution or use, including a shortfall in supply or 
price increase. This rule does not represent the exercise of agency 
discretion. Congress' mandate to expand the types of holdings that are 
exempt from the acreage holding limitations and to increase the maximum 
amount of time to petition for lease reinstatement in certain 
circumstances may result in an increase in oil and gas production of 
unknown amounts. It does not impose a regulatory burden on any lessee.

Executive Order 13352, Facilitation of Cooperative Conservation

    In accordance with Executive Order 13352, the BLM has determined 
that this final rule is administrative in nature, merely expanding the 
types of lease holdings that are exempt from the lease acreage holding 
limitations and extending the maximum time to file a lease 
reinstatement petition from 15 months to 24 months. This rule does not 
impede facilitating cooperative conservation; takes appropriate account 
of and considers the interests of persons with ownership or other 
legally recognized interests in land or other natural resources; has no 
effect on local participation in the Federal decision-making process; 
and does not affect programs, projects, and activities having to do 
with protecting public health and safety.

Paperwork Reduction Act

    The BLM has determined that this rulemaking does not contain any 
new information collection requirements that the Office of Management 
and Budget (OMB) must approve under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 
(44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.). The OMB has approved the information 
collection requirements in the regulations under OMB control number 
1004-0185 which expires June 30, 2006.

Author

    The principal author of this rule is Jay Douglas of BLM's Fluid 
Minerals Group (WO320) assisted by Ian Senio of BLM's Regulatory 
Affairs Group and Dennis Daugherty, Office of the Solicitor, Department 
of the Interior.

List of Subjects in 43 CFR Part 3100

    Government contracts; Mineral royalties; Oil and gas exploration; 
Public lands--mineral resources; Reporting and recordkeeping 
requirements; Surety bonds.

    Dated: March 10, 2006.
Chad Calvert,
Acting, Assistant Secretary, For Land and Minerals Management.


0
Accordingly, BLM amends 43 CFR part 3100, as set forth below:

PART 3100--OIL AND GAS LEASING

0
1. Revise the authority citation for part 3100 to read as follows:

    Authority: 30 U.S.C. 189 and 359; 43 U.S.C. 1732(b), 1733, and 
1740; and the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (Pub. L. 109-58).

0
2. Amend Sec.  3101.2-3 by designating the first sentence of the 
section as paragraph (a) and the second sentence of the section as 
paragraph (b) and by revising newly designated paragraph (a) to read as 
follows:


Sec.  3101.2-3  Excepted acreage.

    (a) The following acreage shall not be included in computing 
accountable acreage:
    (1) Acreage under any lease any portion of which is committed to 
any Federally approved unit or cooperative plan or communitization 
agreement;
    (2) Acreage under any lease for which royalty (including 
compensatory royalty or royalty in-kind) was paid in the preceding 
calendar year; and
    (3) Acreage under leases subject to an operating, drilling or 
development contract approved by the Secretary.
* * * * *

0
3. Amend Sec.  3108.2-3 by redesignating paragraph (b)(1) and (b)(2) as 
paragraphs (b)(2) and (b)(3), respectively, adding a new paragraph 
(b)(1), and revising newly designated paragraph (b)(2) to read as 
follows:


Sec.  3108.2-3  Reinstatement at higher rental and royalty rates: Class 
II reinstatements.

* * * * *
    (b)(1) Leases that terminate on or before August 8, 2005, may be 
reinstated if the required back rental and royalty at the increased 
rates accruing from the date of termination, together with a petition 
for reinstatement, are filed on or before the earlier of:
    (i) Sixty days after the receipt of the Notice of Termination sent 
to the lessee of record, whether by return of check or any form of 
actual notice; or
    (ii) Fifteen months after termination of the lease.
    (2) Leases that terminate after August 8, 2005 may be reinstated if 
the required back rental and royalty at the increased rates accruing 
from the date of termination, together with a petition for 
reinstatement, are filed on or before the earlier of:
    (i) Sixty days after the last date that any lessee of record 
received Notice of Termination by certified mail; or
    (ii) Twenty four months after termination of the lease.
* * * * *
[FR Doc. 06-2848 Filed 3-23-06; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4310-84-P