[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 37 (Monday, February 25, 2013)]
[Notices]
[Pages 12772-12776]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-04297]


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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement

[Docket ID BSEE-2012-0015; OMB Number 1014-0019]


Information Collection Activities: Oil and Gas Production 
Requirements; Submitted for Office of Management and Budget (OMB) 
Review; Comment Request

ACTION: 30-day Notice.

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SUMMARY: 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 Subpart K, Oil and Gas Production 
Requirements. This notice also provides the public a second opportunity 
to comment on the revised paperwork burden of these regulatory 
requirements.

DATES: You must submit comments by March 27, 2013.

ADDRESSES: Submit comments by either fax (202) 395-5806 or email 
(OIRA_Submission@omb.eop.gov) directly to the Office of Information 
and Regulatory Affairs, OMB, Attention: Desk Officer for the Department 
of the Interior (1014-0019). Please provide a copy of your comments to 
BSEE by any of the means below.
     Electronically: go to http://www.regulations.gov. In the 
entry titled, Enter Keyword or ID, enter BSEE-2012-0015 then click 
search. Follow the instructions to submit public comments and view all 
related materials. We will post all comments.
     Email: cheryl.blundon@bsee.gov, fax (703) 787-1546, or 
mail or hand-carry comments to: Department of the Interior; BSEE; 
Regulations and Standards Branch; Attention: Cheryl Blundon; 381 Elden 
Street, HE3313; Herndon, Virginia 20170-4817. Please reference 1014-
0019 in your comment and include your name and return address.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Cheryl Blundon, Regulations and 
Standards Branch, (703) 787-1607, to request additional information 
about this ICR. To see a copy of the entire ICR submitted to OMB, go to 
http://www.reginfo.gov (select Information Collection Review, Currently 
Under Review).

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 
    Title: 30 CFR 250, Subpart K, Oil and Gas Production Requirements.
    Form(s): BSEE-0126 and -0128.
    OMB Control Number: 1014-0019.
    Abstract: The Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Lands Act, as amended 
(43 U.S.C. 1331 et seq. and 43 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.), authorizes the 
Secretary of the Interior to prescribe rules and regulations to 
administer leasing of mineral resources on the OCS. Such rules and 
regulations will apply to all operations conducted under a lease, 
right-of-way, or a right-of-use and easement. Operations on the OCS 
must preserve, protect, and develop oil and natural gas resources in a 
manner that is consistent with the need to make such resources 
available to meet the Nation's energy needs as rapidly as possible; to 
balance orderly energy resource development with protection of human, 
marine, and coastal environments; to ensure the public a fair and 
equitable return on the resources of the OCS; and to preserve and 
maintain free enterprise competition.
    Section 5(a) of the OCS Lands Act requires the Secretary to 
prescribe rules and regulations ``to provide for the prevention of 
waste, and conservation of the natural resources of the Outer 
Continental Shelf, and the protection of correlative rights therein'' 
and to include provisions ``for the prompt and efficient exploration 
and development of a lease area.''
    Section 1334(g)(2) states ``* * * the lessee shall produce such oil 
or gas, or

[[Page 12773]]

both, at rates * * * to assure the maximum rate of production which may 
be sustained without loss of ultimate recovery of oil or gas, or both, 
under sound engineering and economic principles, and which is safe for 
the duration of the activity covered by the approved plan.''
    In addition to the general authority of OCSLA, section 301(a) of 
the Federal Oil and Gas Royalty Management Act (FOGRMA), 30 U.S.C. 
1751(a), grants authority to the Secretary to prescribe such rules and 
regulations as are reasonably necessary to carry out FOGRMA's 
provisions. While the majority of FOGRMA is directed to royalty 
collection and enforcement, some provisions apply to offshore 
operations. For example, section 109(c)(2) and (d)(1), 30 U.S.C. 
1719(c)(2) and (d)(1), impose substantial civil penalties for failure 
to permit lawful inspections and for knowing or willful preparation or 
submission of false, inaccurate, or misleading reports, records, or 
other information. The Secretary has delegated some of the authority 
under FOGRMA to BSEE.
    The Independent Offices Appropriations Act (31 U.S.C. 9701), the 
Omnibus Appropriations Bill (Pub. L. 104-133, 110 Stat. 1321, April 26, 
1996), and OMB Circular A-25, authorize Federal agencies to recover the 
full cost of services that confer special benefits. Under the 
Department of the Interior's implementing policy, the Bureau of Safety 
and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) is required to charge the full 
cost for services that provide special benefits or privileges to an 
identifiable non-Federal recipient above and beyond those that accrue 
to the public at large. Several requests for approval required in 
Subpart K are subject to cost recovery and BSEE regulations specify 
service fees for these requests.
    In addition, BSEE also issues various Notices to Lessees (NTLs) and 
Operators to clarify and provide additional guidance on some aspects of 
the regulations, as well as forms to capture the data and information. 
The current Subpart K regulations specify the use of forms BSEE-0126 
(Well Potential Test Report) and BSEE-0128 (Semiannual Well Test 
Report). We have included a certification statement, on both forms, to 
state that false submissions are subject to criminal penalties. Also, 
we clarified some sections of Form BSEE-0126. These clarifications pose 
minor edits and they are as follows: In Block No. 88, TYPE OF REQUEST, 
we added the word `Reestablish'; in Block No. 108, we revised what read 
`API @ 60[deg] F' to now read as `API @ 14.73 PSI & 60[deg] F'; and in 
Block No. 109, we revised what read `SP GR GAS' to now read as `SP GR 
GAS @ 14.73 PSI & 60[deg]F'.
    Regulations implementing these responsibilities are under 30 CFR 
part 250, subpart K. Responses are mandatory or are required to obtain 
or retain a benefit. No questions of a sensitive nature are asked. The 
BSEE protects information considered proprietary under the Freedom of 
Information Act (5 U.S.C. 552) and its implementing regulations (43 CFR 
part 2), and under regulations at 30 CFR 250.197, Data and information 
to be made available to the public or for limited inspection, 30 CFR 
Part 252, OCS Oil and Gas Information Program.
    The information collected under Subpart K is used in our efforts to 
conserve natural resources, prevent waste, and protect correlative 
rights, including the Federal Government's royalty interest. 
Specifically, BSEE uses the information to:
     Evaluate requests to burn liquid hydrocarbons and vent and 
flare gas to ensure that these requests are appropriate;
     Determine if a maximum production or efficient rate is 
required; and,
     Review applications for downhole commingling to ensure 
that action does not result in harm to ultimate recovery.
    We collect the information required under this Subpart for 
reservoir, reserves, and conservation analyses, including the 
determination of maximum production rates (MPRs) when necessary for 
certain oil and gas completions and to evaluate the results of well 
tests to determine if reservoirs are being depleted in a manner that 
will lead to the greatest ultimate recovery of hydrocarbons.
    Frequency: On occasion, daily, monthly, semi-annual, annual, and as 
required by regulations.
    Description of Respondents: Potential respondents comprise OCS 
Federal oil, gas, or sulphur lessees and/or operators.
    Estimated Reporting and Recordkeeping Hour Burden: The estimated 
annual hour burden for this information collection is a total of 20,312 
hours. The following chart details the individual components and 
estimated hour burdens. In calculating the burdens, we assumed that 
respondents perform certain requirements in the normal course of their 
activities. We consider these to be usual and customary and took that 
into account in estimating the burden.

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                                                                                                     Non-hour cost burdens
                                                                      ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 30 CFR 250 Subpart K and related NTLs   Reporting and recordkeeping                                                                       Annual burden
                                                 requirement                 Hour burden           Average number of annual responses          hours
                                                                                                                                             (rounded)
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                                                      WELL TESTS/SURVEYS and CLASSIFYING RESERVOIRS
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1151(a)(1), (c); 1167.................  Conduct well production test;  3.....................  1,210 forms..............................           3,630
                                         submit Form BSEE-0126 (Well
                                         Potential Test Report) and
                                         supporting information
                                         within 15 days after end of
                                         test period.
1151(a)(2), (c); 1167.................  Conduct well production test;  0.1 to 3*.............  11,136 GOM forms.........................           2,836
                                         submit Form BSEE-0128                                 60 POCS forms............................
                                         (Semiannual Well Test
                                         Report) and supporting
                                         information within 45 days
                                         after end of calendar half-
                                         year.
1151(b)...............................  Request extension of time to   0.5...................  13 requests..............................               7
                                         submit results of semi-
                                         annual well test.
1152(b), (c);.........................  Request approval to conduct    0.75..................  5 requests...............................               4
                                         well testing using
                                         alternative procedures.
1152(d)...............................  Provide advance notice of      0.5...................  12 notices...............................               6
                                         time and date of well tests..
                                       -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Subtotal..........................  .............................  ......................  12,616 responses.........................           6,483
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[[Page 12774]]

 
                                                              APPROVALS PRIOR TO PRODUCTION
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1156; 1167............................  Request approval to produce    5.....................  15 requests..............................              75
                                         within 500 feet of a unit or
                                         lease line; submit
                                         supporting information/
                                         documentation; notify
                                         adjacent operators and
                                         provide BSEE proof of notice
                                         date.
                                                                      ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                                 $3,608 x 15 requests = $54,120
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1156(b); 1158(b)......................  Notify adjacent operators      .5....................  15 letters...............................               8
                                         submit letters of acceptance
                                         or objection to BSEE within
                                         30 days after notice;
                                         include proof of notice date.
1157; 1167............................  Request approval to produce    12....................  48 requests..............................             576
                                         gas-cap gas in an oil
                                         reservoir with an associated
                                         gas cap, or to continue
                                         producing an oil well
                                         showing characteristics of a
                                         gas well with an associated
                                         gas cap; submit producing an
                                         oil well showing
                                         characteristics of a gas
                                         well with an associated gas
                                         cap; submit supporting
                                         information.
                                                                      ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                                $4,592 x 48 requests = $220,416
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1158; 1167............................  Request approval to downhole   6.....................  30 applications..........................             180
                                         commingle hydrocarbons;
                                         submit supporting
                                         information; notify
                                         operators and provide proof
                                         of notice date.
                                                                      ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                              $5,357 x 30 applications = $160,710
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    Subtotal..........................  .............................  ......................  108 responses............................             839
                                                                                              ----------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                                                $435,246 non-hour costs
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                                                       FLARING, VENTING, and BURNING HYDROCARBONS
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1160; 1161; 1163(e)...................  Request approval to flare or   0.75..................  1,146 requests/reports...................             860
                                         vent natural gas or exceed
                                         specified time limits/
                                         volumes; submit evaluation/
                                         documentation; report flare/
                                         vent information due to blow
                                         down of transportation
                                         pipelines within 72 hours
                                         after incident.
                                       -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1160(b); 1164(b)(1), (2)..............    H2S Contingency, Exploration, or Development and Production Plans and, Development Operations                0
                                             Coordination Documents-burdens covered under 1014-0018 and BOEM's 1010-0151. Monitor air
                                                               quality and report--burdens covered under 1010-0057.
                                       -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1162; 1163(e).........................  Request approval to burn       0.5...................  6 requests/reports.......................               3
                                         produced liquid
                                         hydrocarbons; demonstrate no
                                         risk and/or submit
                                         documentation re transport.
                                         If approval needed, submit
                                         documentation with relevant
                                         information re hydrocarbons
                                         burned under the approval.
                                                                      ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1163..................................  Initial purchase or                                   54 meters @ $77,000 each--$4,158,000
                                         replacement of gas meters to
                                         measure the amount of gas
                                         flared or vented. This is a
                                         non-hour cost burden.
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1163(a)(1)............................  Notify BSEE when facility      1.....................  32 notices...............................              32
                                         begins to process more than
                                         an average of 2,000 bopd per
                                         month.
                                       -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1163(b);..............................        Report to ONRR hydrocarbons produced, including measured gas flared/vented and liquid                    0
                                                               hydrocarbon burned--burden covered under 1012-0004.
                                       -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1163(a), (c), (d).....................  Maintain records for 6 years   13....................  892 platforms (gas flare/vent)...........          11,596
                                         detailing on a daily and
                                         monthly cumulative basis gas
                                         flaring/venting, liquid
                                         hydrocarbon burning; and
                                         flare/vent meter recordings;
                                         make available for
                                         inspection or provide copies
                                         upon request.
                                                                       .5....................  60 liquid hydrocarbon....................              30
1164(c)...............................  Submit monthly reports of      3.....................  3 operators x 12 mos. = 36...............             108
                                         flared or vented gas
                                         containing H2S.
                                       -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Subtotal..........................  .............................  ......................  2,172 responses..........................          12,629
                                                                                              ----------------------------------------------------------

[[Page 12775]]

 
                                                                                                               $4,158,000 non-hour costs
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                                                                   OTHER REQUIREMENTS
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1165..................................  Submit proposed plan and       12....................  16 plans.................................             192
                                         supporting information for
                                         enhanced recovery operations.
                                       -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1165(c)...............................     Submit periodic reports of volumes of oil, gas, or other substances injected, produced, or                  0
                                                        produced for a second time--burden covered under ONRR's 1012-0004.
                                       -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1166..................................  Alaska Region only: submit     1.....................  1 (req'd by State, we get copy)..........               1
                                         annual reservoir management
                                         report and supporting
                                         information.
                                                                       100...................  1 new develop- ment not State lands......             100
                                                                       20....................  3 annual revisions.......................              60
1150-1167.............................  General departure or           1.5...................  5 submissions............................               8
                                         alternative compliance
                                         requests not specifically
                                         covered elsewhere in Subpart
                                         K.
                                       -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Subtotal..........................  .............................  ......................  26 responses.............................             361
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
        Total Burden..................  .............................  ......................  14,922 responses.........................          20,312
                                                                                              ----------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                                            $4,593,246 non-hour cost burdens
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Estimated Reporting and Recordkeeping Non-Hour Cost Burden: We have 
identified four non-hour cost burdens associated with the collection of 
information for a total of $4,593,246. Three are service fees required 
to recover the Federal Government's processing costs of certain 
submissions. The fourth cost is an IC equipment expenditure. They are 
as follows:

Sec.  250.1156 requires a service fee when submitting a request for 
approval to produce within 500 feet of a unit or lease line--$3,608.
Sec.  250.1157 requires a service fee when submitting a request for 
approval before producing gas-cap gas from each completion in an oil 
reservoir known to have an associated gas cap, or to continue producing 
if an oil reservoir is not initially known to have an associated gas 
cap, but begins to show characteristics of a gas well--$4,592.
Sec.  250.1158 requires a service fee for submitting a request for 
approval to downhole commingle hydrocarbons--$5,357.
Sec.  250.1163 requires respondents to purchase and install gas meters 
to measure the amount of gas flared or vented gas for those that 
produce more than 2,000 bopd and do not already have a meter or need to 
replace a meter--$77,000.

    We have not identified any other non-hour cost burdens associated 
with this collection of information.
    Public Disclosure Statement: The PRA (44 U.S.C. 3501, et seq.,) 
provides that an agency may not conduct or sponsor a collection of 
information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number. 
Until OMB approves a collection of information, you are not obligated 
to respond.
    Comments: Section 3506(c)(2)(A) of the PRA (44 U.S.C. 3501, et 
seq.,) 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 
collection is necessary or useful; (b) evaluate the accuracy 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 
technology.
    To comply with the public consultation process, on September 26, 
2012, we published a Federal Register notice (77 FR 59209) announcing 
that we would submit this ICR to OMB for approval. The notice provided 
the required 60-day comment period. In addition, Sec.  250.199 provides 
the OMB Control Number for the information collection requirements 
imposed by the 30 CFR part 250, subpart K regulations and forms. The 
regulation also informs the public that they may comment at any time on 
the collections of information and provides the address to which they 
should send comments. We received one comment in response to the 
Federal Register. We offer the following in response: the commenter 
states that we are not following the OMB guidance for reducing 
reporting and paperwork burdens. In our opinion, we believe that the 
commenter's proposal would not be ``reducing reporting and paperwork 
burden''. That is, it appears the commenter is suggesting that 
operators submit flare/vent records to BSEE via ``Web page, tablet 
device, or smartphone''. If that is the case, we would be increasing 
the reporting burden as industry is NOT now required to submit such 
information to BSEE, i.e., operators only have to maintain the records 
on the facility and make them available during offshore inspections. Of 
course, new regulations would be needed to require such submittals to 
BSEE and we would not pursue such a requirement as operators report 
this information monthly to ONRR on the OGOR reports (which are 
submitted electronically). As far as reducing ``paperwork burdens'', we 
don't believe that is applicable under the commenter's proposal either 
as industry can store their records offshore in an electronic system as 
long as they are available for offshore inspection.
    Relating to the Items on BSEE-0126, the commenter is correct. The 
items containing the ``[thgr]'', are simply a ``check box'' on the 
physical form.
    Public Availability of Comments: Before including your address, 
phone number, email address, or other personal identifying information 
in your

[[Page 12776]]

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 review, we cannot guarantee that we 
will be able to do so.

     Dated: January 29, 2013.
Robert W. Middleton,
Deputy Chief, Office of Offshore Regulatory Programs.
[FR Doc. 2013-04297 Filed 2-22-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4310-VH-P