Outer Continental Shelf (OCS), Central and Western Gulf of Mexico, Oil and Gas Lease Sales for Years 2007-2012, 25224-25227 [E6-6453]

Download as PDF jlentini on PROD1PC65 with NOTICES 25224 Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 82 / Friday, April 28, 2006 / Notices regulations, changed circumstances and new information on natural resources and natural resource management. New resource management plans are needed because current management direction for the three field offices is contained in 18 separate land use plans and subsequent amendments. The RMPs will fulfill the needs and obligations set forth by the NEPA, FLPMA, and BLM management policies. The BLM has worked collaboratively with interested parties to identify the management decisions that are best suited to address local, regional and national concerns. The BLM held six public scoping meetings and three field tours in August and September 2003 as part of the process to identify issues to be addressed in these resource management plans. Two internal scoping meetings were held in November of 2003 to solicit input from BLM staff and other agency personnel. Participants provided the BLM with comments and issues for the RMPs. BLM personnel have been in contact with a number of tribes, county governments and state and Federal agencies about the planning project. These entities have been invited to participate as cooperating agencies in the development of the DRMP/DEIS documents. To date, the BLM has received 32 letters, 73 comment forms and 1,300 e-mail messages. The DRMP describes five management alternatives, including the No Action Alternative (continuation of existing management). Alternatives 1, 2, 3, and the preferred alternative present a range of management scenarios with varying amounts of natural resource protection and focus. The preferred alternative for the Alturas FO includes the following Areas of Critical Environmental Concern (ACEC): Ash Valley ACEC—1322 acres (existing); Timbered Crater ACEC— 17,896 acres; Emigrant Trails ACEC— 1,750 acres; Mountain Peaks ACEC— 3,500 acres; Old Growth Juniper ACEC—3,115 acres; Mount Dome ACEC—1510 acres; Tablelands/Yankee Jim/Fitzhugh Creek ACEC—1,400 acres. Four additional ACECs: Lava, Pit River Canyon, Juniper Creek, and Beaver Creek, were considered but not included in the preferred alternative. The preferred alternative for the Eagle Lake FO includes the following ACECs: Pine Dunes ACEC/Research Natural Area (RNA)—2,887 acres; Eagle Lake Basin ACEC—34,320 acres; Susan River ACEC—2,495 acres; Willow Creek ACEC—2,130 acres; Lower Smoke Creek ACEC—894 acres; Buffalo Creek Canyons ACEC—36,515 acres; and North Dry Valley ACEC—10,156 acres. VerDate Aug<31>2005 17:14 Apr 27, 2006 Jkt 208001 One additional ACEC, Aspen Groves, was considered but not included in the preferred alternative. The preferred alternative for the Surprise FO includes the following ACECs: Massacre ACEC— 44,780 acres; Bitner ACEC—1,921 acres; and Rahilly-Gravelly ACEC—957 acres. Use of public lands within these ACECs would vary, depending on the resources and/or values identified in Chapter 2 of the Draft RMP/EIS, but would include limitations on off-highway vehicle use and ground-disturbing development projects. Please note that comments, including names and street addresses of respondents, are available for public review and release under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). Individual respondents may request confidentiality by stating this request prominently at the beginning of their written comments. Such requests will be honored to the extent allowed by law. The BLM will not consider anonymous comments. All submissions from organizations or businesses and from individuals identifying themselves as representatives or officials of organizations and businesses will be made available for public inspection in their entirety. Printed and compact disc copies of the Draft RMP/Draft EIS documents have been sent to affected federal, tribal, state and local government agencies and to interested publics. The documents are available by contacting the Bureau of Land Management Eagle Lake Field Office, 2950 Riverside Dr., Susanville, CA 96130. Documents are available online at http://www.blm.gov/ca/pa/ planning/landuseplanning.html. Additionally, the documents may be reviewed at the following BLM offices: California State Office, Information Access Center, 2800 Cottage Way, Sacramento, Calif.; Alturas Field Office, 708 West 12th St., Alturas, Calif.; and the Surprise Field Office, 602 Cressler St., Cedarville, Calif. Dated: August 5, 2005. Dayne Barron, Eagle Lake Field Office Manager. Editorial Note: This document was received at the Office of the Federal Register April 25, 2006. [FR Doc. 06–4033 Filed 4–27–06; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310–40–P PO 00000 Frm 00092 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Minerals Management Service Outer Continental Shelf (OCS), Central and Western Gulf of Mexico, Oil and Gas Lease Sales for Years 2007–2012 Minerals Management Service (MMS), Interior. ACTION: Call for information and nominations. AGENCY: SUMMARY: This Call for Information and Nominations (hereinafter referred to as ‘‘Call’’) is the initial step in a single multisale process covering all lease sales in the Central and Western Gulf of Mexico (GOM) planning areas included in the draft proposed 2007–2012 OCS Oil and Gas Leasing Program (see Federal Register, February 10, 2006, pages 7064–7068.) Eleven lease sales are specifically covered by this Call: six in the Central GOM and five in the Western GOM. The new configuration of the Central and Western GOM planning areas was announced in the draft proposed 2007–2012 OCS Oil and Gas Leasing Program. The Central GOM planning area related to this Call includes portions of areas previously included in the Eastern and Western GOM planning areas. Simultaneously with this Call, MMS is preparing a multisale Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) covering the same eleven sales in the Central and Western GOM. For each of the eleven individual lease sales associated with this Call, the MMS will comply with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA), and the Coastal Zone Management Act. DATES: Nominations and comments must be received no later than 30 days following publication of this document in the Federal Register at the address specified below. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For information on this Call, please contact Ms. Jane Burrell Johnson, Minerals Management Service, Gulf of Mexico OCS Region, 1201 Elmwood Park Boulevard, New Orleans, Louisiana 70123–2394, telephone (504) 736–2811. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This Call is the fifth issuance of a Gulf of Mexico OCS Region multisale Call. In 1996, the MMS implemented two multisale Call processes for lease sales in the Central and Western GOM, respectively, in association with the 1997–2002 OCS Oil and Gas Leasing Program. In relation to the 2002–2007 OCS Oil and Gas Leasing Program, MMS implemented one multisale Call process for Central and Western GOM lease sales and one E:\FR\FM\28APN1.SGM 28APN1 Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 82 / Friday, April 28, 2006 / Notices multisale Call process for Eastern GOM lease sales. MMS is now issuing one multisale Call for all GOM lease sales in the draft proposed 2007–2012 OCS Oil and Gas Leasing Program. Call for Information and Nominations 1. Authority This Call is published pursuant to the OCSLA as amended (43 U.S.C. 1331– 1356 (1995)), and the regulations issued thereunder (30 CFR part 256). 2. Purpose of Call The purpose of the Call is to gather information for the following proposed OCS Lease Sales in the Central and Western GOM: Lease sale, OCS planning area Sale year jlentini on PROD1PC65 with NOTICES Sale 204, Western GOM .............. Sale 205, Central GOM (portion of planning area) ....................... Sale 206, Central GOM ................ Sale 207, Western GOM .............. Sale 208, Central GOM ................ Sale 210, Western GOM .............. Sale 213, Central GOM ................ Sale 215, Western GOM .............. Sale 216, Central GOM ................ Sale 218, Western GOM .............. Sale 222, Central GOM ................ 2007 2007 2008 2008 2009 2009 2010 2010 2011 2011 2012 Information and nominations on oil and gas leasing, exploration, development and production within the Central and Western GOM are sought from all interested parties. This early planning and consultation step is important for ensuring that all interests and concerns are communicated to the Department of the Interior for future decisions in the leasing process pursuant to the OCSLA and regulations at 30 CFR part 256. Responses are requested regarding proposed sales in both the Central and Western GOM planning areas. Twentythree years of experience with annual leasing on an areawide basis has shown that the lease sale proposals in the Central and Western GOM are very similar from year to year. This makes possible the use of a multisale process to address decisions for all eleven lease sales in those areas within the draft proposed program for both the Central and Western GOM planning areas. Pursuant to section 18 of the OCS Lands Act, 43 U.S.C. 1344, the Secretary of the Interior still is in the process of developing the Five-Year Program for 2007–2012. This Call for Information and Nominations should not be construed as any pre-judgment by the Secretary as to any area to be made available for leasing under the 2007– 2012 Five-Year Program. VerDate Aug<31>2005 17:14 Apr 27, 2006 Jkt 208001 This Call also does not indicate a preliminary decision to lease in the areas described below. Final delineation of each area for possible leasing will be made at a later date and in compliance with applicable laws including all requirements of the NEPA and OCSLA. Established departmental procedures will be employed. 3. Description of Areas The general areas of this Call cover the entire Central and Western GOM planning areas, except for those exclusions listed below in Item 4, Areas Excluded from this Call. The Central GOM planning area is bounded on the north by the FederalState boundary offshore Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama. The eastern boundary of the Central GOM begins at the offshore boundary between Alabama and Florida and proceeds southeasterly to 26.19 degrees North latitude, thence southwesterly to 25.6 degrees North latitude. The western boundary of the Central GOM begins at the offshore boundary between Texas and Louisiana and proceeds southeasterly to 28.43 degrees North latitude, thence south southwesterly to 27.49 degrees North latitude, thence south southeasterly to 25.80 degrees North latitude. The Central GOM is bounded on the south by the continental shelf boundary with Mexico as established by the ‘‘Treaty Between The Government of The United States of America and The Government of The United Mexican States on The Delimitation of The Continental Shelf in The Western Gulf of Mexico Beyond 200 Nautical Miles’’ which took effect in January 2001, and by the limit of the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone in the area east of the continental shelf boundary with Mexico. The Central GOM planning area available for nominations and comments at this time consists of approximately 66.3 million acres, of which approximately 34.8 million acres are currently unleased. The Western GOM planning area is bounded on the west and north by the Federal/State boundary offshore Texas. The eastern boundary begins at the offshore boundary between Texas and Louisiana and proceeds southeasterly to 28.43 degrees North latitude, thence south southwesterly to 27.49 degrees North latitude, thence south southeasterly to 25.80 degrees North latitude. The Western GOM is bounded on the south by the maritime boundary with Mexico as established by the ‘‘Treaty Between The Government of The United States of America and The Government of The United Mexican States on The Delimitation of The Continental Shelf in The Western Gulf PO 00000 Frm 00093 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 25225 of Mexico Beyond 200 Nautical Miles’’ which took effect in January 2001. The Western GOM planning area available for nominations and comments at this time consists of approximately 28.7 million acres, of which approximately 17.8 million acres are currently unleased. A standard Call for Information Map depicting the Central and Western GOM planning areas and Central GOM Sale 205 program area on a block-by-block basis is available without charge from: Minerals Management Service, Public Information Unit (MS 5034), 1201 Elmwood Park Boulevard, New Orleans, Louisiana 70123–2394, or telephone: 1– 800–200–GULF. The map is also available via the MMS Web site at http://www.mms.gov. 4. Areas Excluded From This Call A. The entire Central GOM planning area will be considered for possible leasing except: 1. Blocks that were previously included within the Eastern GOM planning area and are within 100 miles of the Florida coast; 2. Blocks that were previously included within the Eastern GOM planning area and are under an existing Presidential withdrawal through the year 2012 as well as subject to annual congressional moratoria; 3. Blocks that are beyond the United States Exclusive Economic Zone in the area known as the northern portion of the Eastern Gap; and 4. Whole and partial blocks that lie within the 1.4 nautical mile buffer zone north of the continental shelf boundary between the United States and Mexico. B. The entire Western GOM planning area will be considered for possible leasing except: 1. Whole and partial blocks within the boundary of the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary; and 2. Whole and partial blocks that lie within the 1.4 nautical mile buffer zone north of the continental shelf boundary between the United States and Mexico. 5. Instructions on Call Indications of interest and comments must be received no later than 30 days following publication of this document in the Federal Register in envelopes labeled ‘‘Nominations for Proposed 2007—2012 Lease Sales in the Central and Western Gulf of Mexico’’ or ‘‘Comments on the Call for Information and Nominations for Proposed 2007— 2012 Lease Sales in the Central and Western Gulf of Mexico.’’ The standard Call for Information Map and indications of interest and/or comments must be submitted to the Gulf of Mexico E:\FR\FM\28APN1.SGM 28APN1 25226 Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 82 / Friday, April 28, 2006 / Notices Region’s Leasing Activities Section (Attention: Ms. Jane Burrell Johnson) at the previously noted address. The standard Call for Information Map delineates the Call area, all of which has been identified by the MMS as having potential for the discovery of accumulations of oil and gas. Respondents are requested to indicate interest in and comment on any or all of the Federal acreage within the boundaries of the Call area that they wish to have included in each of the proposed lease sales in the Central and Western GOM. Although individual indications of interest are considered to be privileged and proprietary information, the names of persons or entities indicating interest or submitting comments will be of public record. Those indicating such interest are required to do so on the standard Call for Information Map by outlining the areas of interest along block lines. Respondents should rank areas in which they have expressed interest according to priority of their interest (e.g., priority 1 [high], 2 [medium], or 3 [low]). Respondents are encouraged to be specific in indicating blocks by priority because blanket nominations on large areas are not useful in the analysis of industry interest. Areas where interest has been indicated but on which respondents have not indicated priorities will be considered priority 3 (low). Respondents may also submit a detailed list of blocks nominated by Official Protraction Diagram and Leasing Map designations to ensure correct interpretation of their nominations. Official Protraction Diagrams and Leasing Maps can be purchased from the Public Information Unit referred to above. Comments are sought from all interested parties about particular geological, environmental (including natural disasters), biological, archaeological and socioeconomic conditions or conflicts, or other information that might bear upon the potential leasing and development of particular areas. Comments are also sought on possible conflicts between future OCS oil and gas activities that may result from the proposed sales and State Coastal Management Programs (CMP’s). If possible, these comments should identify specific CMP policies of concern, the nature of the conflict foreseen, and steps that the MMS could take to avoid or mitigate the potential conflict. Comments may be in terms of broad areas or restricted to particular blocks of concern. Those submitting comments are requested to list block numbers or outline the subject area on the standard Call for Information Map. 6. Use of Information From Call Information submitted in response to this Call will be used for several purposes. First, responses will be used to identify the areas of potential for oil and gas development and their priority of interest. Second, comments on possible environmental effects and potential use conflicts will be used in the analysis of environmental conditions in and near the Call area. The areas nominated for inclusion in the proposed sales and their respective rankings in conjunction with comments on environmental and other use conflicts will be used to make a preliminary determination of the potential advantages and disadvantages of oil and gas exploration and development to the region and the Nation. A third purpose for this Call is to use the comments collected in the scoping process for the EIS and to develop proposed actions and alternatives. Fourth, comments may be used in developing lease terms and conditions to ensure safe offshore operations. And, fifth, comments may be used to assess potential conflicts between offshore gas and oil activities and a State CMP. 7. Existing Information The MMS routinely assesses the status of information acquisition efforts and the quality of the information base for potential decisions on tentatively scheduled lease sales. As a result of this continually ongoing assessment, we have determined that the status of the existing data available for planning, analysis, and decision-making is adequate and extensive. An extensive environmental studies program has been underway in the GOM since 1973. The emphasis, including continuing studies, has been on environmental characterization of biologically sensitive habitats, physical oceanography, ocean-circulation modeling, and ecological effects of oil and gas activities. In response to impacts from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, the MMS is currently funding studies regarding hurricane risks to onshore structures and their surrounding communities and environment. Socioeconomic profiles of communities with a high concentration of OCS-related activity will assess the social and environmental impacts of the 2005 hurricane season. These studies also evaluate the effects of hurricanerelated employment shifts on onshore labor and coastal communities. In addition, a number of studies were recently awarded to determine the impact of Hurricane Ivan on the offshore oil and gas structures of the Gulf of Mexico. These studies were designed to analyze and assess the consequential damage to structures and pipelines, determine the effectiveness of current design standards and pollutionprevention systems, and develop recommendations for potential changes to industry standards and MMS regulations, if needed. Results of these recently awarded studies are also applicable to the impacts of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita and future hurricanes. A complete listing of available study reports, and information for ordering copies, can be obtained from the Public Information Unit referenced above. The reports may also be ordered, for a fee, from the U.S. Department of Commerce, National Technical Information Service, 5285 Port Royal Road, Springfield, Virginia 22161, or telephone (703) 605– 6000 or (800) 553–6847. In addition, a program status report for continuing studies in this area can be obtained from the Chief, Environmental Sciences Section (MS 5430), Minerals Management Service, Gulf of Mexico OCS Region, 1201 Elmwood Park Boulevard, New Orleans, Louisiana 70123–2394, or telephone (504) 736– 2752, or via the MMS Web site at http://www.gomr.mms.gov/homepg/ regulate/environ/studiesprogram.html. 8. Tentative Schedule jlentini on PROD1PC65 with NOTICES MILESTONES FOR MULTISALE EIS FOR PROPOSED 2007–2012 CENTRAL AND WESTERN GOM SALES Notice of Intent (NOI) to Prepare an EIS .............................................................................................................................. Call for Information and Nominations .................................................................................................................................... Comments received on NOI .................................................................................................................................................. Comments received on Call .................................................................................................................................................. Area Identification Decision ................................................................................................................................................... Draft EIS published ................................................................................................................................................................ Public Hearings on Draft EIS ................................................................................................................................................. VerDate Aug<31>2005 17:14 Apr 27, 2006 Jkt 208001 PO 00000 Frm 00094 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 E:\FR\FM\28APN1.SGM 28APN1 March/2006. April/2006. April/2006. May/2006. June/2006. October/2006. November/2006. 25227 Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 82 / Friday, April 28, 2006 / Notices MILESTONES FOR MULTISALE EIS FOR PROPOSED 2007–2012 CENTRAL AND WESTERN GOM SALES—Continued Final EIS ................................................................................................................................................................................ March/2007. 9. Sale Milestones The following is a list of tentative milestone dates applicable to lease sales covered by this Call: SALE-SPECIFIC MILESTONES FOR PROPOSED 2007–2012 CENTRAL AND WESTERN GOM SALES Request for Information to Begin Lease Sale Specific Process .............. Environmental Review Completed ........................................................... Proposed Notice and Coastal Zone Management Consistency Determination. Final Notice of Sale .................................................................................. Finally, the tentative months for GOM lease sales during the 2007–2012 period are: Central GOM Sales (except for Sale 205): March of each year. Central GOM Sale 205: Latter part of 2007. Western GOM Sales: August of each year. Dated: April 13, 2006. R.M. ‘‘Johnnie’’ Burton, Director, Minerals Management Service. [FR Doc. E6–6453 Filed 4–27–06; 8:45 am] Group III ..... BILLING CODE 4310–MR–P Group IV ..... Group V ...... DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Minerals Management Service Notice on Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Lease Sales Minerals Management Service, Interior. ACTION: List of restricted joint bidders. AGENCY: SUMMARY: Pursuant to the authority vested in the Director of the Minerals Management Service by the joint bidding provisions of 30 CFR 256.41, each entity within one of the following groups shall be restricted from bidding with any entity in any other of the following groups at Outer Continental Shelf oil and gas lease sales to be held during the bidding period May 1, 2006 through October 31, 2006. The List of Restricted Joint Bidders published in the Federal Register November 7, 2005 covered the period November 1, 2005 through April 30, 2006. jlentini on PROD1PC65 with NOTICES Group I ........ Group II ...... VerDate Aug<31>2005 Exxon Mobil Corporation ExxonMobil Exploration Company Shell Oil Company Shell Offshore Inc. SWEPI LP Shell Frontier Oil & Gas Inc. 17:14 Apr 27, 2006 Jkt 208001 Group VI ..... Group VII .... Group VIII ... 12 months before each lease sale. 4 to 7 months before each lease. 4 months before each lease sale 1 month before each lease sale. Shell Consolidated Energy Resources Inc. Shell Land & Energy Company Shell Onshore Ventures Inc. Shell Offshore Properties and Capital II, Inc. Shell Rocky Mountain Production LLC Shell Gulf of Mexico Inc. BP America Production Company BP Exploration & Production Inc. BP Exploration (Alaska) Inc. TOTAL E&P USA, Inc. Chevron Corporation Chevron U.S.A. Inc. Unocal Corporation Union Oil Company of California Pure Resources, LP Pure Partners, LP PRS Offshore, LP ConocoPhillips Company ConocoPhillips Alaska, Inc ConocoPhillips Petroleum Company Phillips Pt. Arguello Production Company Eni Petroleum Co. Inc. Eni Petroleum Exploration Co. Inc. Eni Deepwater LLC Eni Oil U.S. LLC Eni Marketing Inc Eni BB Petroleum Inc Eni U.S. Operating Co. Inc. Eni BB Pipeline LLC Petrobras America Inc. Dated: April 12, 2006. R.M. ‘‘Johnnie’’ Burton, Director, Minerals Management Service. [FR Doc. E6–6431 Filed 4–27–06; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310–MR–P PO 00000 Frm 00095 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 INTERNATIONAL TRADE COMMISSION [Inv. No. 337–TA–566] In the Matter of Certain Chemical Mechanical Planarization Slurries and Precursors to Same; Notice of Investigation U.S. International Trade Commission. ACTION: Institution of investigation pursuant to 19 U.S.C. 1337. AGENCY: SUMMARY: Notice is hereby given that a complaint was filed with the U.S. International Trade Commission on March 28, 2006, under section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended, 19 U.S.C. 1337, on behalf of Cabot Microelectronics Corporation of Aurora, Illinois. A supplement to the complaint was filed on April 13, 2006. The complaint alleges violations of section 337 in the importation into the United States, the sale for importation, and the sale within the United States after importation of certain chemical mechanical planarization slurries and precursors to same by reason of infringement of claims 20, 22, 38, and 48 of U.S. Patent No. 5,958,288, claims 11, 18, 19, and 25 of U.S. Patent No. 5,980,773, and claims 8, 12, and 17 of U.S. Patent No. 6,068,787. The complaint further alleges that an industry in the United States exists as required by subsection (a)(2) of section 337. The complainant requests that the Commission institute an investigation and, after the investigation, issue a permanent exclusion order and a cease and desist order. ADDRESSES: The complaint, except for any confidential information contained therein, is available for inspection during official business hours (8:45 a.m. to 5:15 p.m.) in the Office of the E:\FR\FM\28APN1.SGM 28APN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 71, Number 82 (Friday, April 28, 2006)]
[Notices]
[Pages 25224-25227]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E6-6453]


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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Minerals Management Service


Outer Continental Shelf (OCS), Central and Western Gulf of 
Mexico, Oil and Gas Lease Sales for Years 2007-2012

AGENCY: Minerals Management Service (MMS), Interior.

ACTION: Call for information and nominations.

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

SUMMARY: This Call for Information and Nominations (hereinafter 
referred to as ``Call'') is the initial step in a single multisale 
process covering all lease sales in the Central and Western Gulf of 
Mexico (GOM) planning areas included in the draft proposed 2007-2012 
OCS Oil and Gas Leasing Program (see Federal Register, February 10, 
2006, pages 7064-7068.) Eleven lease sales are specifically covered by 
this Call: six in the Central GOM and five in the Western GOM. The new 
configuration of the Central and Western GOM planning areas was 
announced in the draft proposed 2007-2012 OCS Oil and Gas Leasing 
Program. The Central GOM planning area related to this Call includes 
portions of areas previously included in the Eastern and Western GOM 
planning areas. Simultaneously with this Call, MMS is preparing a 
multisale Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) covering the same eleven 
sales in the Central and Western GOM. For each of the eleven individual 
lease sales associated with this Call, the MMS will comply with the 
National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the Outer Continental Shelf 
Lands Act (OCSLA), and the Coastal Zone Management Act.

DATES: Nominations and comments must be received no later than 30 days 
following publication of this document in the Federal Register at the 
address specified below.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For information on this Call, please 
contact Ms. Jane Burrell Johnson, Minerals Management Service, Gulf of 
Mexico OCS Region, 1201 Elmwood Park Boulevard, New Orleans, Louisiana 
70123-2394, telephone (504) 736-2811.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This Call is the fifth issuance of a Gulf of 
Mexico OCS Region multisale Call. In 1996, the MMS implemented two 
multisale Call processes for lease sales in the Central and Western 
GOM, respectively, in association with the 1997-2002 OCS Oil and Gas 
Leasing Program. In relation to the 2002-2007 OCS Oil and Gas Leasing 
Program, MMS implemented one multisale Call process for Central and 
Western GOM lease sales and one

[[Page 25225]]

multisale Call process for Eastern GOM lease sales. MMS is now issuing 
one multisale Call for all GOM lease sales in the draft proposed 2007-
2012 OCS Oil and Gas Leasing Program.

Call for Information and Nominations

1. Authority

    This Call is published pursuant to the OCSLA as amended (43 U.S.C. 
1331-1356 (1995)), and the regulations issued thereunder (30 CFR part 
256).

2. Purpose of Call

    The purpose of the Call is to gather information for the following 
proposed OCS Lease Sales in the Central and Western GOM:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                  Sale
                Lease sale, OCS planning area                     year
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Sale 204, Western GOM........................................       2007
Sale 205, Central GOM (portion of planning area).............       2007
Sale 206, Central GOM........................................       2008
Sale 207, Western GOM........................................       2008
Sale 208, Central GOM........................................       2009
Sale 210, Western GOM........................................       2009
Sale 213, Central GOM........................................       2010
Sale 215, Western GOM........................................       2010
Sale 216, Central GOM........................................       2011
Sale 218, Western GOM........................................       2011
Sale 222, Central GOM........................................       2012
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Information and nominations on oil and gas leasing, exploration, 
development and production within the Central and Western GOM are 
sought from all interested parties. This early planning and 
consultation step is important for ensuring that all interests and 
concerns are communicated to the Department of the Interior for future 
decisions in the leasing process pursuant to the OCSLA and regulations 
at 30 CFR part 256.
    Responses are requested regarding proposed sales in both the 
Central and Western GOM planning areas. Twenty-three years of 
experience with annual leasing on an areawide basis has shown that the 
lease sale proposals in the Central and Western GOM are very similar 
from year to year. This makes possible the use of a multisale process 
to address decisions for all eleven lease sales in those areas within 
the draft proposed program for both the Central and Western GOM 
planning areas.
    Pursuant to section 18 of the OCS Lands Act, 43 U.S.C. 1344, the 
Secretary of the Interior still is in the process of developing the 
Five-Year Program for 2007-2012. This Call for Information and 
Nominations should not be construed as any pre-judgment by the 
Secretary as to any area to be made available for leasing under the 
2007-2012 Five-Year Program.
    This Call also does not indicate a preliminary decision to lease in 
the areas described below. Final delineation of each area for possible 
leasing will be made at a later date and in compliance with applicable 
laws including all requirements of the NEPA and OCSLA. Established 
departmental procedures will be employed.

3. Description of Areas

    The general areas of this Call cover the entire Central and Western 
GOM planning areas, except for those exclusions listed below in Item 4, 
Areas Excluded from this Call.
    The Central GOM planning area is bounded on the north by the 
Federal-State boundary offshore Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama. 
The eastern boundary of the Central GOM begins at the offshore boundary 
between Alabama and Florida and proceeds southeasterly to 26.19 degrees 
North latitude, thence southwesterly to 25.6 degrees North latitude. 
The western boundary of the Central GOM begins at the offshore boundary 
between Texas and Louisiana and proceeds southeasterly to 28.43 degrees 
North latitude, thence south southwesterly to 27.49 degrees North 
latitude, thence south southeasterly to 25.80 degrees North latitude. 
The Central GOM is bounded on the south by the continental shelf 
boundary with Mexico as established by the ``Treaty Between The 
Government of The United States of America and The Government of The 
United Mexican States on The Delimitation of The Continental Shelf in 
The Western Gulf of Mexico Beyond 200 Nautical Miles'' which took 
effect in January 2001, and by the limit of the U.S. Exclusive Economic 
Zone in the area east of the continental shelf boundary with Mexico. 
The Central GOM planning area available for nominations and comments at 
this time consists of approximately 66.3 million acres, of which 
approximately 34.8 million acres are currently unleased.
    The Western GOM planning area is bounded on the west and north by 
the Federal/State boundary offshore Texas. The eastern boundary begins 
at the offshore boundary between Texas and Louisiana and proceeds 
southeasterly to 28.43 degrees North latitude, thence south 
southwesterly to 27.49 degrees North latitude, thence south 
southeasterly to 25.80 degrees North latitude. The Western GOM is 
bounded on the south by the maritime boundary with Mexico as 
established by the ``Treaty Between The Government of The United States 
of America and The Government of The United Mexican States on The 
Delimitation of The Continental Shelf in The Western Gulf of Mexico 
Beyond 200 Nautical Miles'' which took effect in January 2001. The 
Western GOM planning area available for nominations and comments at 
this time consists of approximately 28.7 million acres, of which 
approximately 17.8 million acres are currently unleased.
    A standard Call for Information Map depicting the Central and 
Western GOM planning areas and Central GOM Sale 205 program area on a 
block-by-block basis is available without charge from: Minerals 
Management Service, Public Information Unit (MS 5034), 1201 Elmwood 
Park Boulevard, New Orleans, Louisiana 70123-2394, or telephone: 1-800-
200-GULF. The map is also available via the MMS Web site at  http://
www.mms.gov.

4. Areas Excluded From This Call

    A. The entire Central GOM planning area will be considered for 
possible leasing except:
    1. Blocks that were previously included within the Eastern GOM 
planning area and are within 100 miles of the Florida coast;
    2. Blocks that were previously included within the Eastern GOM 
planning area and are under an existing Presidential withdrawal through 
the year 2012 as well as subject to annual congressional moratoria;
    3. Blocks that are beyond the United States Exclusive Economic Zone 
in the area known as the northern portion of the Eastern Gap; and
    4. Whole and partial blocks that lie within the 1.4 nautical mile 
buffer zone north of the continental shelf boundary between the United 
States and Mexico.
    B. The entire Western GOM planning area will be considered for 
possible leasing except:
    1. Whole and partial blocks within the boundary of the Flower 
Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary; and
    2. Whole and partial blocks that lie within the 1.4 nautical mile 
buffer zone north of the continental shelf boundary between the United 
States and Mexico.

5. Instructions on Call

    Indications of interest and comments must be received no later than 
30 days following publication of this document in the Federal Register 
in envelopes labeled ``Nominations for Proposed 2007--2012 Lease Sales 
in the Central and Western Gulf of Mexico'' or ``Comments on the Call 
for Information and Nominations for Proposed 2007--2012 Lease Sales in 
the Central and Western Gulf of Mexico.'' The standard Call for 
Information Map and indications of interest and/or comments must be 
submitted to the Gulf of Mexico

[[Page 25226]]

Region's Leasing Activities Section (Attention: Ms. Jane Burrell 
Johnson) at the previously noted address.
    The standard Call for Information Map delineates the Call area, all 
of which has been identified by the MMS as having potential for the 
discovery of accumulations of oil and gas. Respondents are requested to 
indicate interest in and comment on any or all of the Federal acreage 
within the boundaries of the Call area that they wish to have included 
in each of the proposed lease sales in the Central and Western GOM.
    Although individual indications of interest are considered to be 
privileged and proprietary information, the names of persons or 
entities indicating interest or submitting comments will be of public 
record. Those indicating such interest are required to do so on the 
standard Call for Information Map by outlining the areas of interest 
along block lines.
    Respondents should rank areas in which they have expressed interest 
according to priority of their interest (e.g., priority 1 [high], 2 
[medium], or 3 [low]). Respondents are encouraged to be specific in 
indicating blocks by priority because blanket nominations on large 
areas are not useful in the analysis of industry interest. Areas where 
interest has been indicated but on which respondents have not indicated 
priorities will be considered priority 3 (low).
    Respondents may also submit a detailed list of blocks nominated by 
Official Protraction Diagram and Leasing Map designations to ensure 
correct interpretation of their nominations. Official Protraction 
Diagrams and Leasing Maps can be purchased from the Public Information 
Unit referred to above.
    Comments are sought from all interested parties about particular 
geological, environmental (including natural disasters), biological, 
archaeological and socioeconomic conditions or conflicts, or other 
information that might bear upon the potential leasing and development 
of particular areas. Comments are also sought on possible conflicts 
between future OCS oil and gas activities that may result from the 
proposed sales and State Coastal Management Programs (CMP's). If 
possible, these comments should identify specific CMP policies of 
concern, the nature of the conflict foreseen, and steps that the MMS 
could take to avoid or mitigate the potential conflict. Comments may be 
in terms of broad areas or restricted to particular blocks of concern. 
Those submitting comments are requested to list block numbers or 
outline the subject area on the standard Call for Information Map.

6. Use of Information From Call

    Information submitted in response to this Call will be used for 
several purposes. First, responses will be used to identify the areas 
of potential for oil and gas development and their priority of 
interest. Second, comments on possible environmental effects and 
potential use conflicts will be used in the analysis of environmental 
conditions in and near the Call area. The areas nominated for inclusion 
in the proposed sales and their respective rankings in conjunction with 
comments on environmental and other use conflicts will be used to make 
a preliminary determination of the potential advantages and 
disadvantages of oil and gas exploration and development to the region 
and the Nation. A third purpose for this Call is to use the comments 
collected in the scoping process for the EIS and to develop proposed 
actions and alternatives. Fourth, comments may be used in developing 
lease terms and conditions to ensure safe offshore operations. And, 
fifth, comments may be used to assess potential conflicts between 
offshore gas and oil activities and a State CMP.

7. Existing Information

    The MMS routinely assesses the status of information acquisition 
efforts and the quality of the information base for potential decisions 
on tentatively scheduled lease sales. As a result of this continually 
ongoing assessment, we have determined that the status of the existing 
data available for planning, analysis, and decision-making is adequate 
and extensive.
    An extensive environmental studies program has been underway in the 
GOM since 1973. The emphasis, including continuing studies, has been on 
environmental characterization of biologically sensitive habitats, 
physical oceanography, ocean-circulation modeling, and ecological 
effects of oil and gas activities. In response to impacts from 
Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, the MMS is currently funding studies 
regarding hurricane risks to onshore structures and their surrounding 
communities and environment. Socioeconomic profiles of communities with 
a high concentration of OCS-related activity will assess the social and 
environmental impacts of the 2005 hurricane season. These studies also 
evaluate the effects of hurricane-related employment shifts on onshore 
labor and coastal communities. In addition, a number of studies were 
recently awarded to determine the impact of Hurricane Ivan on the 
offshore oil and gas structures of the Gulf of Mexico. These studies 
were designed to analyze and assess the consequential damage to 
structures and pipelines, determine the effectiveness of current design 
standards and pollution-prevention systems, and develop recommendations 
for potential changes to industry standards and MMS regulations, if 
needed. Results of these recently awarded studies are also applicable 
to the impacts of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita and future hurricanes.
    A complete listing of available study reports, and information for 
ordering copies, can be obtained from the Public Information Unit 
referenced above. The reports may also be ordered, for a fee, from the 
U.S. Department of Commerce, National Technical Information Service, 
5285 Port Royal Road, Springfield, Virginia 22161, or telephone (703) 
605-6000 or (800) 553-6847. In addition, a program status report for 
continuing studies in this area can be obtained from the Chief, 
Environmental Sciences Section (MS 5430), Minerals Management Service, 
Gulf of Mexico OCS Region, 1201 Elmwood Park Boulevard, New Orleans, 
Louisiana 70123-2394, or telephone (504) 736-2752, or via the MMS Web 
site at  http://www.gomr.mms.gov/homepg/regulate/environ/
studiesprogram.html.

8. Tentative Schedule

 Milestones for Multisale EIS for Proposed 2007-2012 Central and Western
                                GOM Sales
------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Notice of Intent (NOI) to Prepare    March/2006.
 an EIS.
Call for Information and             April/2006.
 Nominations.
Comments received on NOI...........  April/2006.
Comments received on Call..........  May/2006.
Area Identification Decision.......  June/2006.
Draft EIS published................  October/2006.
Public Hearings on Draft EIS.......  November/2006.

[[Page 25227]]

 
Final EIS..........................  March/2007.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

9. Sale Milestones

    The following is a list of tentative milestone dates applicable to 
lease sales covered by this Call:

 Sale-Specific Milestones for Proposed 2007-2012 Central and Western GOM
                                  Sales
------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Request for Information to Begin Lease   12 months before each lease
 Sale Specific Process.                   sale.
Environmental Review Completed.........  4 to 7 months before each
                                          lease.
Proposed Notice and Coastal Zone         4 months before each lease sale
 Management Consistency Determination.
Final Notice of Sale...................  1 month before each lease sale.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Finally, the tentative months for GOM lease sales during the 2007-
2012 period are:

Central GOM Sales (except for Sale 205): March of each year.
Central GOM Sale 205: Latter part of 2007.
Western GOM Sales: August of each year.

    Dated: April 13, 2006.
R.M. ``Johnnie'' Burton,
Director, Minerals Management Service.
 [FR Doc. E6-6453 Filed 4-27-06; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4310-MR-P