Notice and Agenda for Meeting of the Royalty Policy Committee
This notice announces the January 17, 2008, meeting of the Royalty Policy Committee (RPC). Agenda items for the meeting of the RPC will include remarks from the Director, MMS, and the Associate Director, Minerals Revenue Management (MRM), as well as updates from the Subcommittee on Royalty Management and the Coal and Indian Oil Valuation Subcommittees. The RPC membership includes representation from states, Indian Tribes, various mineral interests, the public-at- large (with knowledge and interest in royalty issues), and other Federal departments.
Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment Request
To comply with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA), MMS is inviting comments on a collection of information that we will submit to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval. The information collection request (ICR) concerns the paperwork requirements in the regulations under 30 CFR 250, Subpart M, ``Unitization.''
Electronic Payment of Fees for Outer Continental Shelf Activities
The MMS proposes that all lessees, operators, permittees, and rights-of-way holders pay all fees for processing plans, applications, and permits electronically. The MMS believes this proposed rule would aid industry in payment processing, and reduce payment processing errors. This proposed rule would improve MMS processing efficiency and facilitate the correction of industry payment errors. The MMS would not accept checks, money orders, or cashier's checks for payment of fees after the effective date of the final rule.
Royalty Relief for Deepwater Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Oil and Gas Leases-Conforming Regulations to Court Decision
This proposed rule would amend 30 CFR parts 260 and 203 to conform the regulations to the decision of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in Santa Fe Snyder Corp., et al. v. Norton (the Decision). That decision found that certain provisions of the MMS regulations interpreting section 304 of the Deep Water Royalty Relief Act are contrary to the requirements of the statute.
Extension of Post-Sale Evaluation Period for Central Gulf of Mexico Lease Sale 205
This notice extends by 45 days, the post-sale evaluation period for Central Gulf of Mexico Lease Sale 205. The Minerals Management Service (MMS) will complete evaluating all the bids received in this sale by February 15, 2008. This action is necessary due to the unusually high number of bids received in this lease sale.
Agency Information Collection Activities: Submitted for Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Review; Comment Request
To comply with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA), we are notifying the public that we have submitted to OMB an information collection request (ICR) to renew approval of the paperwork requirements in Form MMS-131, Performance Measures Data. This notice also provides the public a second opportunity to comment on the paperwork burden of these regulatory requirements.
Indian Oil Valuation
The Minerals Management Service (MMS) is amending the existing regulations regarding valuation, for royalty purposes, of oil produced from Indian leases. These amendments will clarify and update the existing regulations.
MMS Information Collection Activity: NEW Information Collection; Lease of Submerged Lands for Alternative Energy Activities on the OCS; Comment Request
To comply with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA), MMS is inviting comments on a collection of information that we will submit to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval. The information collection request (ICR) concerns the paperwork requirements that address new Form MMS-0001, Lease of Submerged Lands for Alternative Energy Activities on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS), which is printed within this Federal Register notice. This form is used to enter into a leasing agreement between MMS and a respondent to conduct data collection and/or technology testing on the OCS. The MMS is also asking for comments on the lease form. Section 388 of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (Pub. L. 109-58), amended section 8 of the OCS Lands Act (43 U.S.C. 1337(p)) and gave responsibility to MMS to grant a lease, easement, or right-of-way on the OCS for alternative energy-related uses not otherwise authorized under the Lands Act.
MMS Information Collection Activities: 1010-0082 (30 CFR 282), Submitted for Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Review; Comment Request
To comply with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA), we are notifying the public that we have submitted to OMB an information collection request (ICR) to renew approval of the paperwork requirements in the regulations under 30 CFR 282, Operations in the Outer Continental Shelf for Minerals Other than Oil, Gas, and Sulphur. This notice also provides the public a second opportunity to comment on the paperwork burden of these regulatory requirements.
States' Decisions on Participating in Accounting and Auditing Relief for Federal Oil and Gas Marginal Properties
The Minerals Management Service (MMS) published final regulations on September 13, 2004 (69 FR 55076), codified at 30 CFR 204.200-215, to provide accounting and auditing relief for marginal Federal oil and gas properties. The rule requires MMS to publish in the Federal Register the decisions of the states concerned to allow or not to allow one or both forms of relief in their state. As required in the rule, MMS provided states receiving a portion of the Federal royalties with a list of qualifying marginal Federal oil and gas properties located in their state so that each affected state could decide whether to participate in one or both relief options. This notice provides the decisions by the states concerned to allow one or both types of relief.
Preparation of an Environmental Assessment (EA) for Proposed Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Oil and Gas Lease Sale 207 in the Western Gulf of Mexico (GOM) Planning Area (2008)
The MMS is issuing this notice to advise the public, pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA), as amended, 42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq., that MMS intends to prepare an EA for proposed OCS Oil and Gas Lease Sale 207 in the Western GOM Planning Area (Lease Sale 207) scheduled for August 2008. The MMS is issuing this notice to facilitate public involvement. The preparation of this EA is an important step in the decision process for Lease Sale 207. The proposal for Lease Sale 207 was identified by the Call for Information and Nominations published in the Federal Register on April 28, 2006, and was analyzed in the Gulf of Mexico OCS Oil and Gas Lease Sales: 2007- 2012; Western Planning Area Sales 204, 207, 210, 215, and 218; Central Planning Area Sales 205, 206, 208, 213, 216, and 222Final Environmental Impact Statement; Volumes I and II (Multisale Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), OCS EIS/EA MMS 2007-018). This EA for proposed Lease Sale 207 will reexamine the potential environmental effects of the proposed lease sale and its alternatives (excluding the unleased blocks near biologically sensitive topographic features, use of a nomination and tract selection leasing system, and no action) based on any new information regarding potential impacts and issues that were not available at the time the Multisale EIS was prepared.
Environmental Assessment (EA), Liberty Development and Production Plan (DPP) Ultra Extended Reach Drilling From Endicott Satellite Drilling Island (SDI)-MMS 2007-054
The Minerals Management Service (MMS) is in receipt of a Development and Production Plan (DPP) from British Petroleum (BP) that proposes an ultra extended reach drilling project in the Beaufort Sea Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) scheduled for construction in 2009. In accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), MMS has prepared an environmental assessment (EA) that concludes that with required mitigation no significant adverse effects (40 CFR 1508.27) on the quality of the human environment would occur. Therefore MMS has issued a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI). In accordance with 40 CFR 1501.4(e)(2)(i), MMS is making the FONSI available for public review for 30 days before making a final determination whether to prepare an EIS and before taking final action on the proposed Liberty DPP.