Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection, Comment Request, 19241-19246 [E8-7448]

Download as PDF mstockstill on PROD1PC66 with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 73, No. 69 / Wednesday, April 9, 2008 / Notices IV. Request for Comments The Bureau of Indian Affairs requests your comments on this collection concerning: (a) The necessity of this information collection for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency’s estimate of the burden (hours and cost) of the collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (c) ways we could enhance the quality, utility and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) ways we could minimize the burden of the collection of the information on the respondents, such as through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology. Please note that an agency may not sponsor or request, and an individual need not respond to, a collection of information unless it has a valid OMB Control Number. The OMB Control Number for this collection is 1076– 0094. Please note that all comments received will be available for public review 2 weeks after comment period closes. Before including your address, phone number, e-mail address or other personally identifiable information, be advised that your entire comment— including your personally identifiable information—may be made public at any time. While you may request that we withhold your personally identifiable information, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so. We do not consider anonymous comments. All comments from representatives of businesses or organizations will be made public in their entirety. We may withhold comments from review for other reasons. OMB Control Number: 1076–0094. Type of review: Renewal. Title: Title 25 CFR 11, Subpart F, Law & Order on Indian Reservations. Brief Description of collection: This collection is required to obtain a benefit, namely either a marriage license or a dissolution of marriage. Details of information are contained in Section III Information Collected. Respondents: Persons who reside on land under the jurisdiction of a Court of Indian Offenses. Number of Respondents: 260. Estimated Time per Response: 15 minutes. Frequency of Response: On occasion. Total Annual Burden to Respondents: 65 hours. Total Annual Cost to Respondents: Negligible. VerDate Aug<31>2005 18:06 Apr 08, 2008 Jkt 214001 Dated: March 28, 2008. Carl J. Artman, Assistant Secretary—Indian Affairs. [FR Doc. E8–7413 Filed 4–8–08; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310–4J–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Minerals Management Service [Docket No. MMS–2008–MRM–0010] Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection, Comment Request Minerals Management Service (MMS), Interior. ACTION: Notice of a revision of a currently approved information collection (OMB Control Number 1010– 0119). AGENCY: SUMMARY: To comply with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA), we are inviting comments on a collection of information that we will submit to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval. The previous title of this information collection request (ICR) was ‘‘30 CFR Part 208—Sale of Federal Royalty Oil; Sale of Federal Royalty Gas; and Commercial Contracts (Forms MMS– 4070, Application for the Purchase of Royalty Oil; MMS–4071, Letter of Credit; and MMS–4072, Royalty-in-Kind Contract Surety Bond).’’ The new title of this ICR is ‘‘30 CFR Part 208, RIK Oil and Gas.’’ DATES: Submit written comments on or before June 9, 2008. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments by the following methods: • Electronically go to http:// www.regulations.gov. In the ‘‘Comment or Submission’’ column, enter ‘‘MMS– 2008–MRM–0010’’ to view supporting and related materials for this ICR. Click on ‘‘Send a comment or submission’’ link to submit public comments. Information on using Regulations.gov, including instructions for accessing documents, submitting comments, and viewing the docket after the close of the comment period, is available through the site’s ‘‘User Tips’’ link. All comments submitted will be posted to the docket. • Mail comments to Armand Southall, Regulatory Specialist, Minerals Management Service, Minerals Revenue Management, P.O. Box 25165, MS 302B2, Denver, Colorado 80225. Please reference ICR 1010–0119 in your comments. • Hand-carry comments or use an overnight courier service. Our courier PO 00000 Frm 00056 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 19241 address is Building 85, Room A–614, Denver Federal Center, West 6th Ave. and Kipling Blvd., Denver, Colorado 80225. Please reference ICR 1010–0119 in your comments. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Armand Southall, telephone (303) 231– 3221, or e-mail armand.southall@mms.gov. You may also contact Armand Southall to obtain copies, at no cost, of (1) The ICR, (2) any associated forms, and (3) the regulations that require the subject collection of information. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Title: 30 CFR Part 208, RIK Oil and Gas. OMB Control Number: 1010–0119. Bureau Form Number: Forms MMS– 4070, MMS–4071, and MMS–4072. Abstract: The Secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior is responsible for matters relevant to mineral resource development on Federal and Indian lands and the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS). The Secretary, under the Mineral Leasing Act of 1920 (30 U.S.C. 1923), the Indian Mineral Development Act of 1982 (25 U.S.C. 2103), and the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (43 U.S.C. 1353), is responsible for managing the production of minerals from Federal and Indian lands and the OCS, collecting royalties and other mineral revenues from lessees who produce minerals, and distributing the funds collected in accordance with applicable laws. The MMS performs the mineral revenue management functions for the Secretary. Public laws pertaining to mineral revenues are on our Web site at http:// www.mrm.mms.gov/Laws_R_D/ PublicLawsAMR.htm. These public laws and 30 CFR part 208, as well as specific language in the actual lease documents, authorize the Secretary to sell royalty oil and gas accruing to the United States. The standard lease terms state that royalties are due in amount or in value. In addition, these citations authorize the Secretary to prescribe proper rules and regulations and to do any and all things necessary to accomplish the purpose of applicable laws. The MMS directs communications between MMS operators and RIK purchasers through commercial contracts, situation-specific ‘‘Dear Operator’’ letters, or, in the case of eligible refiners, through regulations at 30 CFR part 208. General Information The MMS is responsible for ensuring that all revenues from Federal and Indian mineral leases are accurately collected and accounted for and appropriately disbursed to recipients. E:\FR\FM\09APN1.SGM 09APN1 19242 Federal Register / Vol. 73, No. 69 / Wednesday, April 9, 2008 / Notices mstockstill on PROD1PC66 with NOTICES Historically, most of these revenues have been received in the form of cash royalty payments, i.e., royalty in-value payments. These payments are paid by mineral development interests. Beginning in the late nineties, MMS conducted pilots to test the approach of taking RIK. The Federal Government’s MMS RIK pilot program became a permanent operational program after several years of pilot project testing. The MMS RIK operational program takes payment from mineral lessees ‘‘in kind’’ in the form of produced crude oil and natural gas volumes, rather than in cash payments. The lessee transfers the title of the crude oil or natural gas to the Federal Government, and MMS sells the received product (crude oil or natural gas) to agents in the marketplace and disburses revenues as prescribed by law. The MMS sells some product competitively in the unrestricted marketplace, and the other RIK product MMS sells competitively to eligible refiners (a small and independent refiner, as defined in 30 CFR 208.2). Additionally, when directed, MMS delivers the RIK product to other Federal agencies, as has been the case during the fill of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR), directed by the President in 2007, with scheduled completion upon reaching a capacity of 727 million barrels. Specifically, within the MMS RIK operational program, MMS conducts the eligible small refiner, SPR, offshore, and Wyoming natural gas programs. Recently, MMS consolidated and revised existing procedures and policies guiding the sale of onshore and offshore royalty crude oil and natural gas (1) To establish uniformity within the regulatory and operational framework; (2) to provide industry with a more efficient and responsive MMS RIK operational program; and (3) to improve the Federal Government’s administration of this program. For example, several of the reporting requirements for eligible refiners under 30 CFR part 208 have been combined with reporting requirements for other RIK purchasers. However, due to the unique nature of the sale of crude oil to eligible refiners, certain requirements pertain only to that eligible refiner program. Eligible Refiner Information— Determination of Need As stated earlier, royalties may be paid ‘‘in value’’ or ‘‘in kind.’’ The regulations at 30 CFR part 208, Sale of Federal Royalty Oil, govern the RIK program of Federal oil for eligible refiners. Under § 208.4(a) and (b), MMS, VerDate Aug<31>2005 18:06 Apr 08, 2008 Jkt 214001 on behalf of the Secretary, performs a Determination of Need prior to issuing a Notice of Availability of Royalty Oil for sale. The MMS uses the feedback from the Determination of Need respondents (eligible refiners or other interested parties, i.e., lessees, operators) to assess current marketplace conditions. If MMS determines the program should continue, MMS may dispose of any royalty oil taken in kind by conducting a sale of such oil, through an allocation process, to eligible refiners. The most recent Determination of Need assessment, requesting specific information from interested parties, was published in the Federal Register on January 16, 2008. In order to qualify for RIK sales, eligible refiners must prequalify by (1) signing the MMS base contract, ‘‘RIK Crude Oil General Terms and Conditions,’’ which is located at http:// www.mrm.mms.gov/rikweb/PDFDocs/ gtcexh.pdf, and (2) providing detailed financial information. Upon prequalification, MMS will issue an amount of unsecured credit, based on the creditability of the offeror. Notice of Availability of Royalty Oil— Federal Register Notice Under § 208.5, if MMS finds from the Determination of Need process that the program should continue, MMS would then publish a Notice of Availability of Royalty Oil for sale in the Federal Register and other printed media, when appropriate. This notice advises industry of a forthcoming RIK crude oil sale for eligible refiners and includes administrative details concerning the application, the allocation process, and the contract award process for the royalty oil. It also details specific information about the crude oil types offered for sale and the location of delivery points. Under § 208.10(e), eligible refiners who purchase royalty oil cannot transfer, assign, or sell their rights or interest in a royalty oil contract without written approval of the MMS Director. This provision is intended to ensure that only qualified eligible refiners benefit from these sales of royalty oil. Form MMS–4070—Application for the Purchase of Royalty Oil Under § 208.6, eligible refiners interested in purchasing royalty oil must submit Form MMS–4070, which is located at http://www.mrm.mms.gov/ ReportingServices/PDFDocs/4070.pdf. This form serves as certification that the company qualifies under the Small Refiner Program as defined under § 208.2. On Form MMS–4070, MMS PO 00000 Frm 00057 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 requests specific information, i.e., the location of their refinery; number of persons employed by the refinery; type of crude desired (e.g., Light Louisiana Sweet); the specific area in which the applicant is interested and documentation supporting an established history in the requested area; and the percentage of total refining capacity attributable to Federal oil versus other sources. The Federal Government’s administration of the eligible refiner program is aided significantly by the collection of information requested on Form MMS–4070. The MMS uses the information collected to determine the eligibility of refiners wanting to enter into contracts to purchase royalty oil and to provide a basis for the allocation of available royalty oil among eligible refiners, when necessary; that is, they meet the small refiner eligibility requirements issued by the Small Business Administration, as explained under § 208.6. Directed Communications by Operators of Federal Oil and Gas Leases Collection of RIK crude oil and natural gas for eligible refiners and other RIK purchasers requires communication between MMS and the operators of a lease to ensure accurate and timely delivery of MMS’s royalty share of production volumes. In order to take MMS’s crude oil or natural gas in kind, MMS, as the responsible steward of oil and gas royalties, must direct operators of affected MMS leases to provide three types of communication: (1) Report information about the projected volumes and qualities of RIK crude oil or natural gas production the operator expects to make available for delivery in the following month, and report corrections to those projected volumes and qualities for previous months, submitted monthly no later than 10 days before the first day of following month; (2) Report cost/invoicing information about transportation charges incurred for delivering the RIK product to the delivery point, when applicable; and (3) Report month-end summary information (lease imbalance statement) regarding total RIK crude oil or natural gas volumes and qualities needed to carry over to the next month to resolve aggregated imbalances that have occurred in prior months of RIK deliveries. In marketing the product, information received through MMS’s directed communication is essential for MMS to ensure the delivery and acceptance of verifiable quantities and qualities of crude oil and natural gas. In cases when E:\FR\FM\09APN1.SGM 09APN1 Federal Register / Vol. 73, No. 69 / Wednesday, April 9, 2008 / Notices MMS is directed to deliver the product to other Federal agencies, these types of directed communication are necessary so that exchange contractors can arrange to timely accept accurate amounts and qualities of royalty oil that will be delivered by MMS’s exchange partner and for MMS to verify timely fulfillment of operators’ and lessees’ royalty obligations to the Federal Government. The types of directed communication and the supporting data, which MMS requires operators to use in setting up the monthly delivery of RIK to the purchaser, are standard business practices in the oil and gas industry. Sample ‘‘Dear Operator’’ letters are posted on RIK’s Web site at http:// www.mrm.mms.gov/rikweb/ RIKOperLts.htm. Third-Party Agreements Section 208.9 requires that eligible refiners who purchase royalty oil must submit to MMS two copies of any written third-party agreements, or two copies of a complete written explanation of any oral third-party agreements, relating to the method and costs of delivery of royalty oil, or crude oil exchanged for the royalty oil, from the point of delivery under the contract to the purchaser’s refinery. Also, this section requires that the purchaser must submit copies of agreements pertaining to quality differentials that may occur between the lease(s) and the delivery point(s). However, in practice MMS does not currently require eligible refiners to submit these written thirdparty and quality differential agreements. The MMS reserves the right upon request to require the agreement from the eligible refiners. mstockstill on PROD1PC66 with NOTICES Offers, Financial Statements, and Surety Instruments for Sales of Royalty Oil and Gas Offers. The Secretary is obligated to hold competition when selling to the public; to protect actual RIK production before, during, and after any sale; and to obtain a fair return on royalty production sold. The MMS must fulfill those obligations for the Secretary. The reporting requirements are (1) Actual pricing offers that potential purchasers VerDate Aug<31>2005 18:06 Apr 08, 2008 Jkt 214001 will submit when MMS offers production for competitive sale; (2) offerors’ statements of financial qualification (audited financial statements or 10K report/statement); and (3) surety instruments, such as a Letter of Credit (LOC), bond, prepayment, or parent guaranty when financial qualification is not sufficient. All LOCs are irrevocable. The MMS typically offers royalty oil and gas production for sale by Invitation for Offers (IFOs) to those offerors who have previously established their qualifications. The MMS evaluates all offers to determine which combination of price and other terms comprises the best return to the U.S. Department of the Treasury and to any affected state. Financial Statements. The MMS may request that a bidder submit its publicly available statements of its financial condition (brought briefly up to date, if needed) or other related qualification information. The MMS evaluates the qualification information to determine whether bidders are reliable to follow through on payment of the dollar amount (or delivery of exchange production) offered, as they bid, and to determine their ability to timely perform activities attendant to the taking of crude oil and/or natural gas. The MMS performs this step to reduce the risk to the Federal Government in these transactions. Surety Instruments. Under MMS current practice, eligible refiners are subject to the same requirements as other RIK purchasers regarding MMSacceptable surety instruments and qualification information. Reporting requirements in § 208.11 discuss surety instruments for eligible refiners. Surety instruments include the broad field of financial instruments that may be collected, i.e., bonds, prepayments, and parent guaranties. When required, eligible refiners and other RIK purchasers must provide surety documents, i.e., Form MMS–4071, LOC; Form MMS–4072, Royalty-In-Kind Contract Surety Bond; other acceptable commercial surety, within 5 business days prior to the first delivery under the contract to protect the Federal Government’s interest. For bonds, MMS PO 00000 Frm 00058 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 19243 requires a specific MMS-approved format. All parent guaranties must specify a dollar amount of the guaranty and the effective term. For awards exceeding the amount of unsecured credit issued by MMS, successful offerors will be required to provide secured financial assurance in the form of an LOC, bond, or other MMS-acceptable surety instrument within 5 business days prior to the first delivery under the contract. In cases of high-risk counterparties, or large awards of RIK crude oil or natural gas, MMS will require a surety instrument to guarantee performance under RIK sales or exchange agreement. Surety instruments are commonly used in the commercial oil and gas industry as a standard course of business where risk is encountered from counterparties. The surety instruments provide the Federal Government with a means to collect money if refiners do not report and pay for the Federal oil they have received. The MMS will request OMB’s approval to continue to collect this information. Not collecting this information would limit the Secretary’s ability to discharge his/her duties and may also result in loss of royalty payments. Proprietary information submitted to MMS under this collection is protected, and there are no questions of a sensitive nature included in this information collection. Frequency of Response: On occasion, weekly, monthly, annually, frequency varies within monthly reporting cycle, or as necessary. Estimated Number and Description of Respondents: 227 Federal lessees and/or operators; and 80 commercial oil and gas purchasers and/or refiners. Estimated Annual Reporting and Recordkeeping ‘‘Hour’’ Burden: 1,969 hours. We have not included in our estimates certain requirements performed in the normal course of business, which are considered usual and customary. The following chart shows the estimated annual burden hours by CFR section and paragraph: E:\FR\FM\09APN1.SGM 09APN1 19244 Federal Register / Vol. 73, No. 69 / Wednesday, April 9, 2008 / Notices RESPONDENTS’ ESTIMATED ANNUAL BURDEN HOURS Citation 30 CFR Reporting and recordkeeping requirement Hour burden Average number of annual responses Annual burden hours PART 208—SALE OF FEDERAL ROYALTY OIL Subpart A—General Provisions § 208.4 Royalty oil sales to eligible refiners 208.4(a) ...................................... (a) Determination to take royalty oil in kind. The Secretary may evaluate crude oil market conditions from time to time. * * * The Secretary will review these items and will determine whether eligible refiners have access to adequate supplies of crude oil and whether such oil is available to eligible refiners at equitable prices. * * * 208.4(b) ...................................... (b) Sale to eligible refiners. (1) * * * The Secretary may authorize MMS to offer royalty oil for sale to eligible refiners only for use in their refineries. * * * Hour burden covered under § 208.4(a). 208.4(c) ....................................... (c) Upon a determination by the Secretary * * * that eligible refiners do have access to adequate supplies of crude oil at equitable prices, MMS will not take royalties in kind from oil and gas leases for exclusive sale to such refiners. * * * Hour burden covered under § 208.4(a). 208.4(d) ...................................... (d) Interim sales. * * * The potentially eligible refiners, individually or collectively, must submit documentation demonstrating that adequate supplies of crude oil at equitable prices are not available for purchase. * * * Hour burden covered under § 208.4(a). § 208.6 208.6(a) and (b) .......................... (a) To apply for the purchase of royalty oil, an applicant must file a Form MMS–4070 with MMS in accordance with instructions provided in the ‘‘Notice of Availability of Royalty Oil’’ and in accordance with any instructions issued by MMS for completion of Form MMS–4070. The applicant will be required to submit a letter of intent from a qualified financial institution stating that it would be granted surety coverage for the royalty oil for which it is applying, or other such proof of surety coverage, as deemed acceptable by MMS. The letter of intent must be submitted with a completed Form MMS–4070. (b) In addition to any other application requirements specified in the Notice, the following information is required on Form MMS–4070 at the time of application: * * * 5 0.25 1 *1 1 1 1 Transportation and delivery (a) * * * The purchaser must have physical access to the oil at the alternate delivery point and such point must be approved by MMS. 208.8(b) ...................................... mstockstill on PROD1PC66 with NOTICES 4 Determination of eligibility 208.8(a) ...................................... (b) * * * If the delivery point is on or immediately adjacent to the lease, the royalty oil will be delivered without cost to the Federal Government as an undivided portion of production in marketable condition at pipeline connections or other facilities provided by the lessee, unless other arrangements are approved by MMS. If the delivery point is not on or immediately adjacent to the lease, MMS will reimburse the lessee for the reasonable cost of transportation to such point in an amount not to exceed the transportation allowance determined pursuant to 30 CFR part 206. * * * 18:06 Apr 08, 2008 Jkt 214001 PO 00000 16 1.25 (a) The MMS will examine each application and may request additional information if the information in the application is inadequate. * * * § 208.8 VerDate Aug<31>2005 4 General application procedures § 208.7 208.7(a) ...................................... 4 Frm 00059 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Hour burden covered by OMB Control Number 1010–0140. This provision is no different than the transportation allowances allowed in 30 CFR part 206 for royalties paid in value. The lessee enters allowance amount on Form MMS–2014. E:\FR\FM\09APN1.SGM 09APN1 19245 Federal Register / Vol. 73, No. 69 / Wednesday, April 9, 2008 / Notices RESPONDENTS’ ESTIMATED ANNUAL BURDEN HOURS—Continued Citation 30 CFR Reporting and recordkeeping requirement § 208.9 208.9(a) ...................................... Hour burden Average number of annual responses Annual burden hours Agreements (a) A purchaser must submit to MMS two copies of any written third-party agreements, or two copies of a full written explanation of any oral third-party agreements, relating to the method and costs of delivery of royalty oil, or crude oil exchanged for the royalty oil, from the point of delivery under the contract to the purchaser’s refinery. In addition, the purchaser must submit copies of agreements pertaining to quality differentials which may occur between leases and delivery points. § 208.10 1 1 1 Notices 208.10(d) .................................... (d) After MMS notification that royalty oil will be taken in kind, the operator shall be responsible for notifying each working interest on the Federal lease. * * * 2 20 40 208.10(e) .................................... (e) A purchaser cannot transfer, assign, or sell its rights or interest in a royalty oil contract without written approval of the Director, MMS. * * * Without express written consent from MMS for a change in ownership, the royalty oil contract shall be terminated. * * * 1 1 1 § 208.11 208.11 (a), (b), (d), and (e) ........ Surety requirements [for eligible refiners] (a) The eligible purchaser, prior to execution of the contract, shall furnish an ‘‘MMS-specified surety instrument,’’ in an amount equal to the estimated value of royalty oil that could be taken by the purchaser in a 99-day period, plus related administrative charges. * * * (b) * * * The purchaser or its surety company may elect not to renew the letter of credit at any monthly anniversary date, but must notify MMS of its intent not to renew at least 30 days prior to the anniversary date. * * * (d) The ‘‘MMS-specified surety instrument’’ shall be in the form specified by MMS instructions or approved by MMS. * * * (e) All surety instruments must be in a form acceptable to MMS and must include such other specific requirements as MMS may require adequately to protect the Government’s interests. § 208.15 208.15 ......................................... Hour burden covered under ‘‘Offers, Financial Statements, and Surety Instruments for Sales of Royalty Oil and Gas’’ section. (Forms MMS–4071, Letter of Credit, and MMS–4072, Royalty-In-Kind Contract Surety Bond) Audits Audits of the accounts and books of lessees, operators, payors, and/or purchasers of royalty oil taken in kind may be made annually or at other such times as may be directed by MMS. * * * Audit process. See note. Directed Communications by Operators of Federal Oil and Gas Leases mstockstill on PROD1PC66 with NOTICES Contract-Directed ........................ Wyoming Gas ................................................................................. Natural Gas [Texas 8G and Gulf of Mexico (GOM)] ..................... GOM Oil .......................................................................................... SPR Fill Initiative ............................................................................ In January 2008, 70,000 barrels of oil per day were directed toward the SPR. This initiative will continue through the Fall of 2008; at which point, these oil volumes will be redirected back to commercial GOM RIK oil sales. Thus, information collection responses will continue at the same level during and after the SPR initiative, the only difference will be under which program the collection falls.) Eligible Refiners .............................................................................. 3 3 3 3 3 108 64 17 9 324 192 51 3 35 105 903 20 30 903 20 300 Offers, Financial Statements, and Surety Instruments for Sales of Royalty Oil and Gas Contract-Directed ........................ VerDate Aug<31>2005 18:06 Apr 08, 2008 Offers .............................................................................................. Financial Statements ...................................................................... Surety Instruments ......................................................................... Jkt 214001 PO 00000 Frm 00060 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 E:\FR\FM\09APN1.SGM 1 1 10 09APN1 19246 Federal Register / Vol. 73, No. 69 / Wednesday, April 9, 2008 / Notices RESPONDENTS’ ESTIMATED ANNUAL BURDEN HOURS—Continued Citation 30 CFR Reporting and recordkeeping requirement Total Burden ........................ Hour burden ......................................................................................................... Average number of annual responses .................... Annual burden hours 1,212 1,969 mstockstill on PROD1PC66 with NOTICES Note: The ORA determined that the audit process is not covered by the PRA because MMS staff asks non-standard questions to resolve exceptions. * Rounded up from 0.25. Estimated Annual Reporting and Recordkeeping ‘‘Non-hour’’ Cost Burden: We have identified no ‘‘nonhour’’ cost burdens. Public Disclosure Statement: The PRA (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.) provides that an agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number. Comments: Before submitting an ICR to OMB, PRA Section 3506(c)(2)(A) requires each agency ‘‘* * * to provide notice * * * and otherwise consult with members of the public and affected agencies concerning each proposed collection of information * * *.’’ Agencies must specifically solicit comments to: (a) Evaluate whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the agency to perform its duties, including whether the information is useful; (b) evaluate the accuracy of the agency’s estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information; (c) enhance the quality, usefulness, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) minimize the burden on the respondents, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology. The PRA also requires agencies to estimate the total annual reporting ‘‘non-hour cost’’ burden to respondents or recordkeepers resulting from the collection of information. If you have costs to generate, maintain, and disclose this information, you should comment and provide your total capital and startup cost components or annual operation, maintenance, and purchase of service components. You should describe the methods you use to estimate major cost factors, including system and technology acquisition, expected useful life of capital equipment, discount rate(s), and the period over which you incur costs. Capital and startup costs include, among other items, computers and software you purchase to prepare for collecting information; monitoring, sampling, and testing equipment; and record storage facilities. Generally, your estimates should not include equipment VerDate Aug<31>2005 18:06 Apr 08, 2008 Jkt 214001 or services purchased: (i) Before October 1, 1995; (ii) to comply with requirements not associated with the information collection; (iii) for reasons other than to provide information or keep records for the Federal Government; or (iv) as part of customary and usual business or private practices. We will summarize written responses to this notice and address them in our ICR submission for OMB approval, including appropriate adjustments to the estimated burden. We will provide a copy of the ICR to you without charge upon request. The ICR also will be posted on our Web site at http:// www.mrm.mms.gov/Laws_R_D/ FRNotices/FRInfColl.htm. Public Comment Policy: We will post all comments in response to this notice on our website at http:// www.mrm.mms.gov/Laws_R_D/InfoColl/ InfoColCom.htm. We will also make copies of the comments available for public review, including names and addresses of respondents, during regular business hours at our offices in Lakewood, Colorado. Before including your address, phone number, e-mail address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment—including your personal identifying information—may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public view, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so. MMS Information Collection Clearance Officer: Arlene Bajusz (202) 208 7744. Dated: April 2, 2008. Walter D. Cruickshank, Acting Associate Director for Minerals Revenue Management. [FR Doc. E8–7448 Filed 4–8–08; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310–MR–P PO 00000 DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR National Park Service Public Notice: Clarifying the Definition Of ‘‘Substantial Restoration of Natural Quiet’’ at Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona National Park Service, Department of the Interior. ACTION: Public Notice: Clarifying the definition of ‘‘substantial restoration of natural quiet’’ at Grand Canyon National Park. AGENCY: SUMMARY: This notice clarifies the definition used by Grand Canyon National Park (GCNP) for achieving substantial restoration of natural quiet as mandated by the 1987 Overflights Act (Pub. L. 100–91) (Overflights Act). This clarification of the definition is necessary to address current acoustic conditions to comply with the intent of recommendations provided in the 1995 Report to Congress,1 and respond to a 2002 U.S. Court of Appeals decision. The provisions of the Special Flight Aviation Regulation (SFAR) 50–2 have not resulted in substantial restoration of natural quiet of GCNP. Given the volume of high altitude commercial jet and general aviation traffic overflying the Grand Canyon above 17,999 feet Mean Sea Level (MSL) and a recent court decision, the substantial restoration goal as currently defined cannot be attained. This clarification of the restoration definition, while focusing on air tour and air tour related and general aviation aircraft that are conducting overflights of GCNP at altitudes at or below 17,999 MSL, also incorporates measures to address noise from all aircraft. The 1995 definition of substantial restoration of natural quiet is being clarified to distinguish between aircraft noise generated above and below 17,999 feet MSL. The Special Flight Rules Area (SFRA) ceiling was set at 17,999 MSL to avoid additional requirements, restrictions and 1 National Park Service, (1995) Report of Effects of Aircraft Overflights on the National Park System, Report to Congress, July 1995. Frm 00061 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 E:\FR\FM\09APN1.SGM 09APN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 73, Number 69 (Wednesday, April 9, 2008)]
[Notices]
[Pages 19241-19246]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E8-7448]


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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Minerals Management Service

[Docket No. MMS-2008-MRM-0010]


Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection, 
Comment Request

AGENCY: Minerals Management Service (MMS), Interior.

ACTION: Notice of a revision of a currently approved information 
collection (OMB Control Number 1010-0119).

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SUMMARY: To comply with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA), we 
are inviting comments on a collection of information that we will 
submit to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and 
approval. The previous title of this information collection request 
(ICR) was ``30 CFR Part 208--Sale of Federal Royalty Oil; Sale of 
Federal Royalty Gas; and Commercial Contracts (Forms MMS-4070, 
Application for the Purchase of Royalty Oil; MMS-4071, Letter of 
Credit; and MMS-4072, Royalty-in-Kind Contract Surety Bond).'' The new 
title of this ICR is ``30 CFR Part 208, RIK Oil and Gas.''

DATES: Submit written comments on or before June 9, 2008.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments by the following methods:
     Electronically go to http://www.regulations.gov. In the 
``Comment or Submission'' column, enter ``MMS-2008-MRM-0010'' to view 
supporting and related materials for this ICR. Click on ``Send a 
comment or submission'' link to submit public comments. Information on 
using Regulations.gov, including instructions for accessing documents, 
submitting comments, and viewing the docket after the close of the 
comment period, is available through the site's ``User Tips'' link. All 
comments submitted will be posted to the docket.
     Mail comments to Armand Southall, Regulatory Specialist, 
Minerals Management Service, Minerals Revenue Management, P.O. Box 
25165, MS 302B2, Denver, Colorado 80225. Please reference ICR 1010-0119 
in your comments.
     Hand-carry comments or use an overnight courier service. 
Our courier address is Building 85, Room A-614, Denver Federal Center, 
West 6th Ave. and Kipling Blvd., Denver, Colorado 80225. Please 
reference ICR 1010-0119 in your comments.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Armand Southall, telephone (303) 231-
3221, or e-mail armand.southall@mms.gov. You may also contact Armand 
Southall to obtain copies, at no cost, of (1) The ICR, (2) any 
associated forms, and (3) the regulations that require the subject 
collection of information.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:
    Title: 30 CFR Part 208, RIK Oil and Gas.
    OMB Control Number: 1010-0119.
    Bureau Form Number: Forms MMS-4070, MMS-4071, and MMS-4072.
    Abstract: The Secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior is 
responsible for matters relevant to mineral resource development on 
Federal and Indian lands and the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS). The 
Secretary, under the Mineral Leasing Act of 1920 (30 U.S.C. 1923), the 
Indian Mineral Development Act of 1982 (25 U.S.C. 2103), and the Outer 
Continental Shelf Lands Act (43 U.S.C. 1353), is responsible for 
managing the production of minerals from Federal and Indian lands and 
the OCS, collecting royalties and other mineral revenues from lessees 
who produce minerals, and distributing the funds collected in 
accordance with applicable laws. The MMS performs the mineral revenue 
management functions for the Secretary.
    Public laws pertaining to mineral revenues are on our Web site at 
http://www.mrm.mms.gov/Laws_R_D/PublicLawsAMR.htm. These public laws 
and 30 CFR part 208, as well as specific language in the actual lease 
documents, authorize the Secretary to sell royalty oil and gas accruing 
to the United States. The standard lease terms state that royalties are 
due in amount or in value. In addition, these citations authorize the 
Secretary to prescribe proper rules and regulations and to do any and 
all things necessary to accomplish the purpose of applicable laws. The 
MMS directs communications between MMS operators and RIK purchasers 
through commercial contracts, situation-specific ``Dear Operator'' 
letters, or, in the case of eligible refiners, through regulations at 
30 CFR part 208.

General Information

    The MMS is responsible for ensuring that all revenues from Federal 
and Indian mineral leases are accurately collected and accounted for 
and appropriately disbursed to recipients.

[[Page 19242]]

Historically, most of these revenues have been received in the form of 
cash royalty payments, i.e., royalty in-value payments. These payments 
are paid by mineral development interests. Beginning in the late 
nineties, MMS conducted pilots to test the approach of taking RIK.
    The Federal Government's MMS RIK pilot program became a permanent 
operational program after several years of pilot project testing. The 
MMS RIK operational program takes payment from mineral lessees ``in 
kind'' in the form of produced crude oil and natural gas volumes, 
rather than in cash payments. The lessee transfers the title of the 
crude oil or natural gas to the Federal Government, and MMS sells the 
received product (crude oil or natural gas) to agents in the 
marketplace and disburses revenues as prescribed by law. The MMS sells 
some product competitively in the unrestricted marketplace, and the 
other RIK product MMS sells competitively to eligible refiners (a small 
and independent refiner, as defined in 30 CFR 208.2). Additionally, 
when directed, MMS delivers the RIK product to other Federal agencies, 
as has been the case during the fill of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve 
(SPR), directed by the President in 2007, with scheduled completion 
upon reaching a capacity of 727 million barrels. Specifically, within 
the MMS RIK operational program, MMS conducts the eligible small 
refiner, SPR, offshore, and Wyoming natural gas programs.
    Recently, MMS consolidated and revised existing procedures and 
policies guiding the sale of onshore and offshore royalty crude oil and 
natural gas (1) To establish uniformity within the regulatory and 
operational framework; (2) to provide industry with a more efficient 
and responsive MMS RIK operational program; and (3) to improve the 
Federal Government's administration of this program. For example, 
several of the reporting requirements for eligible refiners under 30 
CFR part 208 have been combined with reporting requirements for other 
RIK purchasers. However, due to the unique nature of the sale of crude 
oil to eligible refiners, certain requirements pertain only to that 
eligible refiner program.

Eligible Refiner Information--Determination of Need

    As stated earlier, royalties may be paid ``in value'' or ``in 
kind.'' The regulations at 30 CFR part 208, Sale of Federal Royalty 
Oil, govern the RIK program of Federal oil for eligible refiners. Under 
Sec.  208.4(a) and (b), MMS, on behalf of the Secretary, performs a 
Determination of Need prior to issuing a Notice of Availability of 
Royalty Oil for sale. The MMS uses the feedback from the Determination 
of Need respondents (eligible refiners or other interested parties, 
i.e., lessees, operators) to assess current marketplace conditions. If 
MMS determines the program should continue, MMS may dispose of any 
royalty oil taken in kind by conducting a sale of such oil, through an 
allocation process, to eligible refiners. The most recent Determination 
of Need assessment, requesting specific information from interested 
parties, was published in the Federal Register on January 16, 2008.
    In order to qualify for RIK sales, eligible refiners must 
prequalify by (1) signing the MMS base contract, ``RIK Crude Oil 
General Terms and Conditions,'' which is located at http://
www.mrm.mms.gov/rikweb/PDFDocs/gtcexh.pdf, and (2) providing detailed 
financial information. Upon prequalification, MMS will issue an amount 
of unsecured credit, based on the creditability of the offeror.

Notice of Availability of Royalty Oil--Federal Register Notice

    Under Sec.  208.5, if MMS finds from the Determination of Need 
process that the program should continue, MMS would then publish a 
Notice of Availability of Royalty Oil for sale in the Federal Register 
and other printed media, when appropriate. This notice advises industry 
of a forthcoming RIK crude oil sale for eligible refiners and includes 
administrative details concerning the application, the allocation 
process, and the contract award process for the royalty oil. It also 
details specific information about the crude oil types offered for sale 
and the location of delivery points.
    Under Sec.  208.10(e), eligible refiners who purchase royalty oil 
cannot transfer, assign, or sell their rights or interest in a royalty 
oil contract without written approval of the MMS Director. This 
provision is intended to ensure that only qualified eligible refiners 
benefit from these sales of royalty oil.

Form MMS-4070--Application for the Purchase of Royalty Oil

    Under Sec.  208.6, eligible refiners interested in purchasing 
royalty oil must submit Form MMS-4070, which is located at http://
www.mrm.mms.gov/ReportingServices/PDFDocs/4070.pdf. This form serves as 
certification that the company qualifies under the Small Refiner 
Program as defined under Sec.  208.2. On Form MMS-4070, MMS requests 
specific information, i.e., the location of their refinery; number of 
persons employed by the refinery; type of crude desired (e.g., Light 
Louisiana Sweet); the specific area in which the applicant is 
interested and documentation supporting an established history in the 
requested area; and the percentage of total refining capacity 
attributable to Federal oil versus other sources.
    The Federal Government's administration of the eligible refiner 
program is aided significantly by the collection of information 
requested on Form MMS-4070. The MMS uses the information collected to 
determine the eligibility of refiners wanting to enter into contracts 
to purchase royalty oil and to provide a basis for the allocation of 
available royalty oil among eligible refiners, when necessary; that is, 
they meet the small refiner eligibility requirements issued by the 
Small Business Administration, as explained under Sec.  208.6.

Directed Communications by Operators of Federal Oil and Gas Leases

    Collection of RIK crude oil and natural gas for eligible refiners 
and other RIK purchasers requires communication between MMS and the 
operators of a lease to ensure accurate and timely delivery of MMS's 
royalty share of production volumes. In order to take MMS's crude oil 
or natural gas in kind, MMS, as the responsible steward of oil and gas 
royalties, must direct operators of affected MMS leases to provide 
three types of communication:
    (1) Report information about the projected volumes and qualities of 
RIK crude oil or natural gas production the operator expects to make 
available for delivery in the following month, and report corrections 
to those projected volumes and qualities for previous months, submitted 
monthly no later than 10 days before the first day of following month;
    (2) Report cost/invoicing information about transportation charges 
incurred for delivering the RIK product to the delivery point, when 
applicable; and
    (3) Report month-end summary information (lease imbalance 
statement) regarding total RIK crude oil or natural gas volumes and 
qualities needed to carry over to the next month to resolve aggregated 
imbalances that have occurred in prior months of RIK deliveries.
    In marketing the product, information received through MMS's 
directed communication is essential for MMS to ensure the delivery and 
acceptance of verifiable quantities and qualities of crude oil and 
natural gas. In cases when

[[Page 19243]]

MMS is directed to deliver the product to other Federal agencies, these 
types of directed communication are necessary so that exchange 
contractors can arrange to timely accept accurate amounts and qualities 
of royalty oil that will be delivered by MMS's exchange partner and for 
MMS to verify timely fulfillment of operators' and lessees' royalty 
obligations to the Federal Government.
    The types of directed communication and the supporting data, which 
MMS requires operators to use in setting up the monthly delivery of RIK 
to the purchaser, are standard business practices in the oil and gas 
industry. Sample ``Dear Operator'' letters are posted on RIK's Web site 
at http://www.mrm.mms.gov/rikweb/RIKOperLts.htm.

Third-Party Agreements

    Section 208.9 requires that eligible refiners who purchase royalty 
oil must submit to MMS two copies of any written third-party 
agreements, or two copies of a complete written explanation of any oral 
third-party agreements, relating to the method and costs of delivery of 
royalty oil, or crude oil exchanged for the royalty oil, from the point 
of delivery under the contract to the purchaser's refinery. Also, this 
section requires that the purchaser must submit copies of agreements 
pertaining to quality differentials that may occur between the lease(s) 
and the delivery point(s). However, in practice MMS does not currently 
require eligible refiners to submit these written third-party and 
quality differential agreements. The MMS reserves the right upon 
request to require the agreement from the eligible refiners.

Offers, Financial Statements, and Surety Instruments for Sales of 
Royalty Oil and Gas

    Offers. The Secretary is obligated to hold competition when selling 
to the public; to protect actual RIK production before, during, and 
after any sale; and to obtain a fair return on royalty production sold. 
The MMS must fulfill those obligations for the Secretary. The reporting 
requirements are (1) Actual pricing offers that potential purchasers 
will submit when MMS offers production for competitive sale; (2) 
offerors' statements of financial qualification (audited financial 
statements or 10K report/statement); and (3) surety instruments, such 
as a Letter of Credit (LOC), bond, prepayment, or parent guaranty when 
financial qualification is not sufficient. All LOCs are irrevocable.
    The MMS typically offers royalty oil and gas production for sale by 
Invitation for Offers (IFOs) to those offerors who have previously 
established their qualifications. The MMS evaluates all offers to 
determine which combination of price and other terms comprises the best 
return to the U.S. Department of the Treasury and to any affected 
state.
    Financial Statements. The MMS may request that a bidder submit its 
publicly available statements of its financial condition (brought 
briefly up to date, if needed) or other related qualification 
information. The MMS evaluates the qualification information to 
determine whether bidders are reliable to follow through on payment of 
the dollar amount (or delivery of exchange production) offered, as they 
bid, and to determine their ability to timely perform activities 
attendant to the taking of crude oil and/or natural gas. The MMS 
performs this step to reduce the risk to the Federal Government in 
these transactions.
    Surety Instruments. Under MMS current practice, eligible refiners 
are subject to the same requirements as other RIK purchasers regarding 
MMS-acceptable surety instruments and qualification information. 
Reporting requirements in Sec.  208.11 discuss surety instruments for 
eligible refiners. Surety instruments include the broad field of 
financial instruments that may be collected, i.e., bonds, prepayments, 
and parent guaranties. When required, eligible refiners and other RIK 
purchasers must provide surety documents, i.e., Form MMS-4071, LOC; 
Form MMS-4072, Royalty-In-Kind Contract Surety Bond; other acceptable 
commercial surety, within 5 business days prior to the first delivery 
under the contract to protect the Federal Government's interest. For 
bonds, MMS requires a specific MMS-approved format. All parent 
guaranties must specify a dollar amount of the guaranty and the 
effective term.
    For awards exceeding the amount of unsecured credit issued by MMS, 
successful offerors will be required to provide secured financial 
assurance in the form of an LOC, bond, or other MMS-acceptable surety 
instrument within 5 business days prior to the first delivery under the 
contract.
    In cases of high-risk counterparties, or large awards of RIK crude 
oil or natural gas, MMS will require a surety instrument to guarantee 
performance under RIK sales or exchange agreement. Surety instruments 
are commonly used in the commercial oil and gas industry as a standard 
course of business where risk is encountered from counterparties.
    The surety instruments provide the Federal Government with a means 
to collect money if refiners do not report and pay for the Federal oil 
they have received.
    The MMS will request OMB's approval to continue to collect this 
information. Not collecting this information would limit the 
Secretary's ability to discharge his/her duties and may also result in 
loss of royalty payments. Proprietary information submitted to MMS 
under this collection is protected, and there are no questions of a 
sensitive nature included in this information collection.
    Frequency of Response: On occasion, weekly, monthly, annually, 
frequency varies within monthly reporting cycle, or as necessary.
    Estimated Number and Description of Respondents: 227 Federal 
lessees and/or operators; and 80 commercial oil and gas purchasers and/
or refiners.
    Estimated Annual Reporting and Recordkeeping ``Hour'' Burden: 1,969 
hours.
    We have not included in our estimates certain requirements 
performed in the normal course of business, which are considered usual 
and customary. The following chart shows the estimated annual burden 
hours by CFR section and paragraph:

[[Page 19244]]



                                   Respondents' Estimated Annual Burden Hours
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                          Average
                                            Reporting and recordkeeping                  number of      Annual
             Citation 30 CFR                        requirement            Hour burden     annual       burden
                                                                                         responses      hours
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                      PART 208--SALE OF FEDERAL ROYALTY OIL
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
      Subpart A--General Provisions
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                               Sec.   208.4 Royalty oil sales to eligible refiners
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
208.4(a)................................  (a) Determination to take                  4            4           16
                                           royalty oil in kind. The
                                           Secretary may evaluate crude
                                           oil market conditions from
                                           time to time. * * * The
                                           Secretary will review these
                                           items and will determine
                                           whether eligible refiners have
                                           access to adequate supplies of
                                           crude oil and whether such oil
                                           is available to eligible
                                           refiners at equitable prices.
                                           * * *
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
208.4(b)................................  (b) Sale to eligible refiners.       Hour burden covered under Sec.
                                           (1) * * * The Secretary may                   208.4(a).
                                           authorize MMS to offer royalty
                                           oil for sale to eligible
                                           refiners only for use in their
                                           refineries. * * *
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
208.4(c)................................  (c) Upon a determination by the      Hour burden covered under Sec.
                                           Secretary * * * that eligible                 208.4(a).
                                           refiners do have access to
                                           adequate supplies of crude oil
                                           at equitable prices, MMS will
                                           not take royalties in kind
                                           from oil and gas leases for
                                           exclusive sale to such
                                           refiners. * * *
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
208.4(d)................................  (d) Interim sales. * * * The         Hour burden covered under Sec.
                                           potentially eligible refiners,                208.4(a).
                                           individually or collectively,
                                           must submit documentation
                                           demonstrating that adequate
                                           supplies of crude oil at
                                           equitable prices are not
                                           available for purchase. * * *
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                   Sec.   208.6 General application procedures
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
208.6(a) and (b)........................  (a) To apply for the purchase           1.25            4            5
                                           of royalty oil, an applicant
                                           must file a Form MMS-4070 with
                                           MMS in accordance with
                                           instructions provided in the
                                           ``Notice of Availability of
                                           Royalty Oil'' and in
                                           accordance with any
                                           instructions issued by MMS for
                                           completion of Form MMS-4070.
                                           The applicant will be required
                                           to submit a letter of intent
                                           from a qualified financial
                                           institution stating that it
                                           would be granted surety
                                           coverage for the royalty oil
                                           for which it is applying, or
                                           other such proof of surety
                                           coverage, as deemed acceptable
                                           by MMS. The letter of intent
                                           must be submitted with a
                                           completed Form MMS-4070.
                                          (b) In addition to any other
                                           application requirements
                                           specified in the Notice, the
                                           following information is
                                           required on Form MMS-4070 at
                                           the time of application: * * *.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                    Sec.   208.7 Determination of eligibility
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
208.7(a)................................  (a) The MMS will examine each           0.25            1           *1
                                           application and may request
                                           additional information if the
                                           information in the application
                                           is inadequate. * * *
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                    Sec.   208.8 Transportation and delivery
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
208.8(a)................................  (a) * * * The purchaser must               1            1            1
                                           have physical access to the
                                           oil at the alternate delivery
                                           point and such point must be
                                           approved by MMS.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
208.8(b)................................  (b) * * * If the delivery point    Hour burden covered by OMB Control
                                           is on or immediately adjacent             Number 1010-0140.
                                           to the lease, the royalty oil    This provision is no different than
                                           will be delivered without cost  the transportation allowances allowed
                                           to the Federal Government as    in 30 CFR part 206 for royalties paid
                                           an undivided portion of         in value. The lessee enters allowance
                                           production in marketable               amount on Form MMS-2014.
                                           condition at pipeline
                                           connections or other
                                           facilities provided by the
                                           lessee, unless other
                                           arrangements are approved by
                                           MMS. If the delivery point is
                                           not on or immediately adjacent
                                           to the lease, MMS will
                                           reimburse the lessee for the
                                           reasonable cost of
                                           transportation to such point
                                           in an amount not to exceed the
                                           transportation allowance
                                           determined pursuant to 30 CFR
                                           part 206. * * *
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

[[Page 19245]]

 
                                             Sec.   208.9 Agreements
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
208.9(a)................................  (a) A purchaser must submit to             1            1            1
                                           MMS two copies of any written
                                           third-party agreements, or two
                                           copies of a full written
                                           explanation of any oral third-
                                           party agreements, relating to
                                           the method and costs of
                                           delivery of royalty oil, or
                                           crude oil exchanged for the
                                           royalty oil, from the point of
                                           delivery under the contract to
                                           the purchaser's refinery. In
                                           addition, the purchaser must
                                           submit copies of agreements
                                           pertaining to quality
                                           differentials which may occur
                                           between leases and delivery
                                           points.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                              Sec.   208.10 Notices
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
208.10(d)...............................  (d) After MMS notification that            2           20           40
                                           royalty oil will be taken in
                                           kind, the operator shall be
                                           responsible for notifying each
                                           working interest on the
                                           Federal lease. * * *
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
208.10(e)...............................  (e) A purchaser cannot                     1            1            1
                                           transfer, assign, or sell its
                                           rights or interest in a
                                           royalty oil contract without
                                           written approval of the
                                           Director, MMS. * * * Without
                                           express written consent from
                                           MMS for a change in ownership,
                                           the royalty oil contract shall
                                           be terminated. * * *
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                            Sec.   208.11 Surety requirements [for eligible refiners]
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
208.11 (a), (b), (d), and (e)...........  (a) The eligible purchaser,       Hour burden covered under ``Offers,
                                           prior to execution of the          Financial Statements, and Surety
                                           contract, shall furnish an       Instruments for Sales of Royalty Oil
                                           ``MMS-specified surety                    and Gas'' section.
                                           instrument,'' in an amount        (Forms MMS-4071, Letter of Credit,
                                           equal to the estimated value        and MMS-4072, Royalty-In-Kind
                                           of royalty oil that could be            Contract Surety Bond)
                                           taken by the purchaser in a 99-
                                           day period, plus related
                                           administrative charges. * * *
                                          (b) * * * The purchaser or its
                                           surety company may elect not
                                           to renew the letter of credit
                                           at any monthly anniversary
                                           date, but must notify MMS of
                                           its intent not to renew at
                                           least 30 days prior to the
                                           anniversary date. * * *.
                                          (d) The ``MMS-specified surety
                                           instrument'' shall be in the
                                           form specified by MMS
                                           instructions or approved by
                                           MMS. * * *.
                                          (e) All surety instruments must
                                           be in a form acceptable to MMS
                                           and must include such other
                                           specific requirements as MMS
                                           may require adequately to
                                           protect the Government's
                                           interests..
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                              Sec.   208.15 Audits
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
208.15..................................  Audits of the accounts and              Audit process. See note.
                                           books of lessees, operators,
                                           payors, and/or purchasers of
                                           royalty oil taken in kind may
                                           be made annually or at other
                                           such times as may be directed
                                           by MMS. * * *
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                       Directed Communications by Operators of Federal Oil and Gas Leases
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Contract-Directed.......................  Wyoming Gas....................            3            3            9
                                          Natural Gas [Texas 8G and Gulf             3          108          324
                                           of Mexico (GOM)].
                                          GOM Oil........................            3           64          192
                                          SPR Fill Initiative............            3           17           51
                                          In January 2008, 70,000 barrels
                                           of oil per day were directed
                                           toward the SPR. This
                                           initiative will continue
                                           through the Fall of 2008; at
                                           which point, these oil volumes
                                           will be redirected back to
                                           commercial GOM RIK oil sales.
                                           Thus, information collection
                                           responses will continue at the
                                           same level during and after
                                           the SPR initiative, the only
                                           difference will be under which
                                           program the collection falls.).
                                          Eligible Refiners..............            3           35          105
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
              Offers, Financial Statements, and Surety Instruments for Sales of Royalty Oil and Gas
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Contract-Directed.......................  Offers.........................            1          903          903
                                          Financial Statements...........            1           20           20
                                          Surety Instruments.............           10           30          300
                                                                          --------------------------------------

[[Page 19246]]

 
    Total Burden........................  ...............................  ...........        1,212       1,969
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Note: The ORA determined that the audit process is not covered by the PRA because MMS staff asks non-standard
  questions to resolve exceptions.
* Rounded up from 0.25.

    Estimated Annual Reporting and Recordkeeping ``Non-hour'' Cost 
Burden: We have identified no ``non-hour'' cost burdens.
    Public Disclosure Statement: The PRA (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.) 
provides that an agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not 
required to respond to, a collection of information unless it displays 
a currently valid OMB control number.
    Comments: Before submitting an ICR to OMB, PRA Section 
3506(c)(2)(A) requires each agency ``* * * to provide notice * * * and 
otherwise consult with members of the public and affected agencies 
concerning each proposed collection of information * * *.'' Agencies 
must specifically solicit comments to: (a) Evaluate whether the 
proposed collection of information is necessary for the agency to 
perform its duties, including whether the information is useful; (b) 
evaluate the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the 
proposed collection of information; (c) enhance the quality, 
usefulness, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) 
minimize the burden on the respondents, including the use of automated 
collection techniques or other forms of information technology.
    The PRA also requires agencies to estimate the total annual 
reporting ``non-hour cost'' burden to respondents or recordkeepers 
resulting from the collection of information. If you have costs to 
generate, maintain, and disclose this information, you should comment 
and provide your total capital and startup cost components or annual 
operation, maintenance, and purchase of service components. You should 
describe the methods you use to estimate major cost factors, including 
system and technology acquisition, expected useful life of capital 
equipment, discount rate(s), and the period over which you incur costs. 
Capital and startup costs include, among other items, computers and 
software you purchase to prepare for collecting information; 
monitoring, sampling, and testing equipment; and record storage 
facilities. Generally, your estimates should not include equipment or 
services purchased: (i) Before October 1, 1995; (ii) to comply with 
requirements not associated with the information collection; (iii) for 
reasons other than to provide information or keep records for the 
Federal Government; or (iv) as part of customary and usual business or 
private practices.
    We will summarize written responses to this notice and address them 
in our ICR submission for OMB approval, including appropriate 
adjustments to the estimated burden. We will provide a copy of the ICR 
to you without charge upon request. The ICR also will be posted on our 
Web site at http://www.mrm.mms.gov/Laws_R_D/FRNotices/FRInfColl.htm.
    Public Comment Policy: We will post all comments in response to 
this notice on our website at http://www.mrm.mms.gov/Laws_R_D/
InfoColl/InfoColCom.htm. We will also make copies of the comments 
available for public review, including names and addresses of 
respondents, during regular business hours at our offices in Lakewood, 
Colorado. Before including your address, phone number, e-mail address, 
or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should 
be aware that your entire comment--including your personal identifying 
information--may be made publicly available at any time. While you can 
ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying 
information from public view, we cannot guarantee that we will be able 
to do so.
    MMS Information Collection Clearance Officer: Arlene Bajusz (202) 
208 7744.

    Dated: April 2, 2008.
Walter D. Cruickshank,
Acting Associate Director for Minerals Revenue Management.
 [FR Doc. E8-7448 Filed 4-8-08; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4310-MR-P