[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 140 (Monday, July 22, 2013)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 43843-43847]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-17535]


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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Office of Natural Resources Revenue

Office of Hearings and Appeals

30 CFR Part 1290

43 CFR Part 4

[Docket No. ONRR-2011-0017; DS63610300 DR2PS0000.CH7000 134D0102R2]
RIN 1012-AA08


Clarification of Appeal Procedures

AGENCY: Office of Natural Resources Revenue and Office of Hearings and 
Appeals, Interior.

ACTION: Proposed rule.

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SUMMARY: The Office of Natural Resources Revenue (ONRR) and Office of 
Hearing and Appeals (OHA) are proposing to amend and clarify 
regulations concerning certain aspects of appeals of ONRR 
correspondence and to clarify the final administrative nature of ONRR 
orders that are not paid or appealed.

DATES: Comments must be submitted on or before September 20, 2013.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments to ONRR by any of the following 
methods (please reference ``1012-AA08'' in your comments):
     Electronically go to www.regulations.gov. In the entry 
titled ``Enter Keyword or ID,'' enter ``ONRR-2011-0017,'' and then 
click ``Search.'' Follow the instructions to submit public comments. 
ONRR will post all comments.
     Mail comments to Armand Southall, Regulatory Specialist, 
ONRR, P.O. Box 25165, MS 64000A, Denver, Colorado 80225-0165.
     Hand-carry comments, or use an overnight courier service, 
to the Office of Natural Resources Revenue, Building 85, Room A-614, 
Denver Federal Center, West 6th Ave. and Kipling St., Denver, Colorado 
80225.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For questions on technical issues, 
contact Sarah Inderbitzin, Office of Enforcement (OE), ONRR, telephone 
(303) 231-3748, or email sarah.inderbitzin@onrr.gov. For other 
questions, contact Armand Southall, Regulatory Specialist, ONRR, 
telephone (303) 231-3221, or email armand.southall@onrr.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

I. Background

    The ONRR is proposing to amend its appeal regulations. On May 13, 
1999, the Department of the Interior (Department) published in the 
Federal Register (64 FR 26240) a final rule governing the appeal of the 
former Minerals Management Service's (MMS) Minerals Revenue Management 
(MRM) orders. In this proposed rule, ONRR is clarifying the appeal 
regulations by removing ambiguity regarding the ONRR definition of an 
Order, the timing of appeals of orders to perform restructured 
accounting, and the finality of orders that have not been paid or 
appealed.

II. Reorganization of Title 30 CFR

    On May 19, 2010, the Secretary of the Department of the Interior 
(Secretary) separated the responsibilities previously performed by the 
former MMS and reassigned those responsibilities to three separate 
organizations. As part of this reorganization, the Secretary renamed 
MMS's MRM the Office of Natural Resources Revenue and directed that 
ONRR transition from the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Land and 
Minerals Management to the Office of the Assistant Secretary for 
Policy, Management and Budget (PMB). This change required the 
reorganization of title 30, Code of Federal Regulations (30 CFR). In 
response, ONRR published a direct final rule on October 4, 2010 (75 FR 
61051), to establish a new chapter XII in 30 CFR; to remove certain 
regulations from chapter II; and to recodify these regulations in the 
new chapter XII. Therefore, all references to ONRR in this proposed 
rule include its predecessor MRM, and all references to 30 CFR part 
1290 in this proposed rule include former 30 CFR part 290, subpart B.

III. Explanation of Proposed Amendments

    This rule would make technical clarifications to 30 CFR part 1290 
and 43 CFR part 4, subpart J. Title 30 CFR part 1290 pertains to 
appeals of ONRR orders to report or pay royalties and other payments 
due under leases subject to part 1290. Title 43 CFR part 4, subpart J, 
contains OHA's special rules applicable to appeals concerning Federal 
oil and gas royalties and other related matters. This rule also would 
make technical corrections to position titles, agency names, acronyms, 
and cross references within the regulations and would delete regulatory 
provisions no longer needed.
    Specifically, the rule proposes to amend existing appeal 
regulations in titles 30 and 43 to clarify which ONRR correspondence 
are appealable orders. This proposed amendment would apply to orders 
involving all Federal and Indian mineral leases. The ONRR has received 
appeals filed in response to ``Dear Payor,'' ``Dear Operator,'' and 
``Dear Reporter'' letters. These letters contain policy and guidance 
that do not contain mandatory or ordering language, and, thus, are not 
ONRR orders. Therefore, those letters are not appealable. The Interior 
Board of Land Appeals (IBLA) addressed this issue in Devon Energy, 171 
IBLA 43 (2007). In Devon, the IBLA held that, under ONRR's appeal 
regulations, ``Dear Payor/Operator/Reporter'' letters sent to all 
lessees are not appealable orders under 30 CFR part 1290. Therefore, 
the proposed amendment to the regulations in titles 30 and 43 would 
specify that ``Dear Payor/Operator/Reporter'' letters and any ONRR 
instructions or guidance do not constitute appealable orders. This 
proposed rule would eliminate confusion for the recipients of the ONRR 
letters and reduce the number of ineligible appeals.
    Likewise, the IBLA has held that correspondence from ONRR that does 
not contain a notice of the right to appeal is not an appealable order 
under 30 CFR part 1290. Xanadu Exploration Company, 157 IBLA 183, 186 
(2002). Therefore, the proposed amendments to the regulations also 
would specify that any ONRR correspondence that does not contain the 
right to appeal in writing does not constitute an appealable order 
consistent with the Xanadu decision. This amendment also would 
eliminate confusion for the recipients of ``Dear Payor/Operator/
Reporter'' letters that do not contain an explicit right to appeal.
    In addition, the rule proposes to update 30 CFR part 1290 to 
reflect the 60-day period within which a party may appeal an order to 
perform a restructured accounting involving only Federal oil and gas 
leases under the Royalty Simplification and Fairness Act of 1996 
(RSFA), codified at 30 U.S.C. 1724(d)(4)(B)(ii)(V).
    Generally, under the proposed rule, you would appeal an Order to 
Perform a Restructured Accounting to the ONRR Director. This would 
include requiring you to appeal an Order to Perform a Restructured 
Accounting that a delegated State issues to the ONRR Director under 
proposed Sec.  1290.105(a)(1)(ii). This would give the ONRR Director an 
opportunity to review such orders and issue a decision before it 
proceeds to the IBLA.

[[Page 43844]]

    RSFA, 30 U.S.C. 1724(d)(4)(B)(ii), states that, for Federal oil and 
gas leases, the Secretary may not delegate his/her authority to issue 
an Order to Perform a Restructured Accounting below the most senior 
career professional position responsible for the royalty management 
program. This person currently is the Director of ONRR. As a result, an 
Order to Perform a Restructured Accounting that the ONRR Director signs 
would be the final decision of the ONRR Director. Therefore, under 
Sec.  1290.105(a)(2) of the proposed rule, you would appeal such Orders 
to Perform a Restructured Accounting to the Interior Board of Land 
Appeals under Sec.  1290.108, not to the ONRR Director.
    ONRR also proposes to amend Sec.  1290.108 to add a new paragraph 
(b) that would state: ``Notwithstanding 43 CFR 4.414(a), a party shall 
file an answer or appropriate motion within 60 days after service of 
the statement of reasons for appeal unless an extension of time is 
requested and granted.'' Currently, 43 CFR 4.414(a) requires ONRR to 
file an answer within 30 days of receiving a statement of reasons. ONRR 
may request and obtain an automatic 30-day extension of time under 30 
CFR 4.405(f). Experience has proven that the 60 days currently provided 
is usually inadequate to allow ONRR to assemble the administrative 
record in royalty appeals. Therefore, ONRR proposes to allow ONRR 60 
days within which to file an answer, coupled with retaining its right 
to an automatic 30-day extension if necessary, to give it adequate time 
to prepare the record and answer. Under this proposal, ONRR would make 
the language in existing Sec.  1290.108 a new paragraph (a) of this 
section and the proposed new language would be paragraph (b).
    Finally, the rule proposes to add a new Sec.  1290.111 that would 
apply to orders involving any Federal and Indian mineral leases. This 
amendment would supersede the IBLA decision in Merit Energy Co. v. 
Minerals Management Service, 172 IBLA 137 (2007), aff'd, Jicarilla 
Apache Nation v. Dept. of the Interior, No. 10-2052 (JDB), 2012 U.S. 
Dist. LEXIS 137421 (D.D.C. Sept. 26, 2012). In Merit, when Merit did 
not pay or appeal an ONRR order to pay royalty, ONRR issued a notice of 
noncompliance under section 109(a) of the Federal Oil and Gas Royalty 
Management Act (FOGRMA), 30 U.S.C. 1719, to enforce the order. Merit 
then requested a hearing on the record on the notice of noncompliance 
under FOGRMA section 109(e), 30 U.S.C. 1719(e), and the former 30 CFR 
part 241 (now part 1241) before the Hearings Division of the Office of 
Hearings and Appeals (OHA). However, Merit challenged not only the 
amount of the potential penalty, but also the merits of the underlying 
order that it failed to appeal under then 30 CFR part 290, subpart B 
(now part 1290). The Hearings Division administrative law judge (ALJ) 
held that Merit could not challenge the merits of the order in a former 
part 241 hearing because it had failed to appeal the order under former 
30 CFR part 290, subpart B.
    Merit then appealed the ALJ's decision to the IBLA. The IBLA 
disagreed with the ALJ and held that the hearing on the notice of 
noncompliance could address the merits of the order because Merit was 
entitled to challenge its ``underlying liability'' for penalties under 
former part 241. 172 IBLA at 149-51. We believe that giving appellants 
who do not appeal orders under current 30 CFR part 1290 another avenue 
of appeal when the agency seeks to enforce an order that was not 
appealed nullifies the intent of part 1290. It also undermines the 
requirement to exhaust administrative remedies by relieving a party of 
the consequences of failing to do so with respect to the initial order. 
Therefore, this proposed rule would make clear that, if you receive an 
ONRR order and you neither pay nor appeal that order under 30 CFR part 
1290, the order is the final decision of the Department and you may not 
contest the merits of that order in any subsequent proceeding seeking 
to enforce the order under 30 CFR part 1241.

IV. Procedural Matters

1. Regulatory Planning and Review (Executive Orders 12866 and 13563)

    Executive Order (E.O.) 12866 provides that the Office of 
Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) of the Office of Management 
and Budget (OMB) will review all significant rules. OIRA has determined 
that this rule is not significant.
    Executive Order 13563 reaffirms the principles of E.O. 12866 while 
calling for improvements in the nation's regulatory system to promote 
predictability, to reduce uncertainty, and to use the best, most 
innovative, and least burdensome tools for achieving regulatory ends. 
The executive order directs agencies to consider regulatory approaches 
that reduce burdens and maintain flexibility and freedom of choice for 
the public where these approaches are relevant, feasible, and 
consistent with regulatory objectives. E.O. 13563 emphasizes further 
that regulations must be based on the best available science and that 
the rulemaking process must allow for public participation and an open 
exchange of ideas. We have developed this rule in a manner consistent 
with these requirements.

2. Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Department certifies that this rule would not have a 
significant economic effect on a substantial number of small entities 
under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.).
    This rule would affect lessees under Federal and Indian mineral 
leases and other recipients of ONRR orders or other official 
correspondence. Lessees of Federal and Indian mineral leases are 
generally companies classified under the North American Industry 
Classification System (NAICS) Code 211111, which includes companies 
that extract crude petroleum and natural gas. For this NAICS code 
classification, a small company is one with fewer than 500 employees. 
Because this rule applies to all mineral leases, even though the NAICS 
classification only applies to oil and gas leases, we are using the 
same classification system for all mineral leases. The Department 
believes that a meaningful number of businesses affected by this rule 
would be small businesses.
    This rule would have no economic effect on small businesses. 
Businesses would not lose any opportunity to appeal any orders which 
may have an economic effect. This rule only would serve to clarify the 
proper forum for certain appeals, conform with other regulations, and 
codify previously enacted Federal law. A Regulatory Flexibility 
Analysis would not be required. Accordingly, a Small Entity Compliance 
Guide would not be required.
    Your comments are important. The Small Business and Agriculture 
Regulatory Enforcement Ombudsman and ten Regional Fairness Boards 
receive comments from small businesses about Federal agency enforcement 
actions. The Ombudsman annually evaluates the enforcement activities 
and rates each agency's responsiveness to small business. If you wish 
to comment on the actions of ONRR, call 1-888-734-3247. You may comment 
to the Small Business Administration without fear of retaliation. 
Allegations of discrimination/retaliation filed with the Small Business 
Administration would be investigated for appropriate action.

3. Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act

    This rule would not be a major rule under 5 U.S.C. 804(2) of the 
Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act (5 U.S.C. 801 et 
seq.). This rule:

[[Page 43845]]

    (a) Would not have an annual effect on the economy of $100 million 
or more.
    (b) Would not cause a major increase in costs or prices for 
consumers, individual industries, Federal, State, or local government 
agencies, or geographic regions.
    (c) Would not have significant adverse effects on competition, 
employment, investment, productivity, innovation, or the ability of 
U.S.-based enterprises to compete with foreign-based enterprises.

4. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

    This rule would not impose an unfunded mandate on State, local, or 
tribal governments, or the private sector of more than $100 million per 
year. The rule would not have a significant or unique effect on State, 
local, or tribal governments, or the private sector. A statement 
containing the information required by the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act 
(2 U.S.C. 1501 et seq.) would not be required.

5. Takings (E.O. 12630)

    Under the criteria in section 2 of E.O. 12630, this rule would not 
have any significant takings implications. This rule would not be a 
governmental action capable of interference with constitutionally 
protected property rights. A Takings Implication Assessment would not 
be required.

6. Federalism (E.O. 13132)

    Under the criteria in section 1 of E.O. 13132, this rule would not 
have sufficient federalism implications to warrant the preparation of a 
Federalism summary impact statement. This rule would not substantially 
and directly affect the relationship between the Federal and State 
governments. To the extent that State and local governments have a role 
in Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) activities, this rule would not affect 
that role. A Federalism summary impact statement would not be required.

7. Civil Justice Reform (E.O. 12988)

    This rule would comply with the requirements of E.O. 12988. 
Specifically, this rule:
    a. Would meet the criteria of section 3(a) requiring that all 
regulations be reviewed to eliminate errors and ambiguity and be 
written to minimize litigation; and
    b. Would meet the criteria of section 3(b)(2) requiring that all 
regulations be written in clear language and contain clear legal 
standards.

8. Consultation With Indian Tribes (E.O. 13175)

    The Department of the Interior strives to strengthen its 
government-to-government relationship with Indian Tribes through a 
commitment to consultation with Indian Tribes and recognition of their 
right to self-governance and tribal sovereignty. Under the Department's 
consultation policy and the criteria in E.O. 13175, we evaluated this 
rule and determined that it would have no substantial direct effects on 
federally recognized Indian Tribes. Indian Tribes would be unaffected 
by clarifications to this appeals rule because the changes would affect 
the procedures for appeal by lessees, but not the rights of lessors, 
such as individual Indian mineral owners and Tribes.

9. Paperwork Reduction Act

    This rule would not contain information collection requirements, 
and a submission to OMB would not be required under the Paperwork 
Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.).

10. National Environmental Policy Act

    This rule would not constitute a major Federal action significantly 
affecting the quality of the human environment. A detailed statement 
under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) would not be 
required because this rule is categorically excluded under: ``(i) 
Policies, directives, regulations, and guidelines: that are of an 
administrative, financial, legal, technical, or procedural nature.'' 
See 43 CFR 46.210(i) and the DOI Departmental Manual, part 516, section 
15.4.D. We have also determined that this rule would not involve any of 
the extraordinary circumstances listed in 43 CFR 46.215 that would 
require further analysis under NEPA. The procedural changes resulting 
from these amendments have no consequences with respect to the physical 
environment. No activity bearing on natural resource exploration, 
production, or transportation would be altered in any material way.

11. Effects on the Energy Supply (E.O. 13211)

    This rule would not be a significant energy action under the 
definition in E.O. 13211. A Statement of Energy Effects would not be 
required.

12. Clarity of This Regulation

    We are required by E.O. 12866 (section 1(b)(12)), E.O. 12988 
(section 3(b)(1)(B)), E.O. 13563 (section 1(a)), and the Presidential 
Memorandum of June 1, 1998, to write all rules in plain language. This 
means that each rule we publish must: (a) Be logically organized; (b) 
use the active voice to address readers directly; (c) use common, 
everyday words, and clear language rather than jargon; (d) be divided 
into short sections and sentences; and (e) use lists and tables 
wherever possible.
    If you feel that we have not met these requirements, send us 
comments by one of the methods listed in the ADDRESSES section. To help 
revise the rule, your comments should be as specific as possible. For 
example, you should tell us the numbers of the sections or paragraphs 
that you find unclear, which sections or sentences are too long, and 
the sections where you feel lists or tables would be useful, etc.

13. Public Availability of Comments

    We will post all comments, including names and addresses of 
respondents, at www.regulations.gov. Before including your address, 
phone number, email address, or other personal identifying information 
in your comment, be advised 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.

List of Subjects

30 CFR Part 1290

    Administrative practice and procedure.

43 CFR Part 4

    Administrative practice and procedure, Civil rights, Claim, Equal 
access to justice, Estates, Government contracts, Grazing lands, 
Indians, Lawyers, Mines, Penalties, Public lands, Surface mining, 
Whistleblowing.

    Dated: June 11, 2013.
Amy Holley,
Acting Assistant Secretary for Policy, Management and Budget.
    For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Assistant Secretary 
for Policy, Management and Budget proposes to amend 30 CFR part 1290 
and 43 CFR part 4, subpart J as follows:

TITLE 30--MINERAL RESOURCES

CHAPTER XII--OFFICE OF NATURAL RESOURCES REVENUE, DEPARTMENT OF THE 
INTERIOR

Subchapter B--Appeals

PART 1290--APPEAL PROCEDURES

0
1. The authority citation for part 1290 continues to read as follows:

    Authority:  5 U.S.C. 301 et seq.; 43 U.S.C. 1331.


[[Page 43846]]


0
2. Amend the definition of Order in Sec.  1290.102 by revising the 
introductory paragraph and paragraphs (1)(i), (1)(ii), 2(iii), and 
2(iv) and adding paragraphs (2)(v) and 2(vi) to read as follows:


Sec.  1290.102  What definitions apply to this part?

* * * * *
    Order, for purposes of this part only, means any document issued by 
the ONRR Director or a delegated State that contains mandatory or 
ordering language that requires the recipient to do any of the 
following for any lease subject to this part: Report, compute, or pay 
royalties or other obligations, report production, or provide other 
information.
    (1) * * *
    (i) An order to pay (Order to Pay) or to compute and pay (Order to 
Perform a Restructured Accounting); and
    (ii) An ONRR or delegated State decision to deny a lessee's, 
designee's, or payor's written request that asserts an obligation due 
the lessee, designee, or payor (Denial).
    (2) * * *
* * * * *
    (iii) An order to pay that ONRR issues to a refiner or other person 
involved in disposition of royalty taken in kind;
    (iv) A Notice of Noncompliance or a Notice of Civil Penalty issued 
under 30 U.S.C. 1719 and 30 CFR part 1241, or a decision of an 
administrative law judge or of the IBLA following a hearing on the 
record on a Notice of Noncompliance or Notice of Civil Penalty;
    (v) A ``Dear Payor,'' ``Dear Operator,'' or ``Dear Reporter'' 
letter unless it explicitly includes the right to appeal in writing; or
    (vi) Any correspondence that does not include the right to appeal 
in writing.
* * * * *
0
3. Amend Sec.  1290.105 by revising paragraph (a) to read as follows:


Sec.  1290.105  How do I appeal an order?

    (a)(1) You may appeal to the Director, Office of Natural Resources 
Revenue (ONRR Director), by filing a Notice of Appeal in the office of 
the official issuing the Order:
    (i) Within 30 days from service of an Order to Pay or a Denial 
involving Federal or Indian mineral leases, or an Order to Perform a 
Restructured Accounting involving Federal solid mineral or geothermal 
leases; or
    (ii) Within 60 days from service of an Order to Perform a 
Restructured Accounting involving Federal oil and gas leases if a 
delegated State issued the Order to Perform a Restructured Accounting.
    (2) If the ONRR Director, or other most senior career professional 
responsible for the ONRR royalty management program, issued the Order 
to Perform a Restructured Accounting for a Federal oil and gas lease, 
then you may appeal that order to the IBLA within 60 days under Sec.  
1290.108.
    (3) For appeals to the ONRR Director under paragraph (1), within 
the same 30-day or 60-day period, whichever is applicable, you must 
file in the office of the official issuing the Order to Pay, Order to 
Perform a Restructured Accounting, or Denial, a statement of reasons, 
or written arguments, or brief that includes the arguments on the facts 
or law that you believe justify reversal or modification of the Order 
to Pay, Order to Perform a Restructured Accounting, or Denial.
    (4) If you are a designee, when you file your Notice of Appeal, you 
must concurrently serve your Notice of Appeal on the lessees for the 
leases in the Order to Pay, Order to Perform a Restructured Accounting, 
or Denial you appealed.
* * * * *
0
4. Revise Sec.  1290.108 to read as follows:


Sec.  1290.108  How do I appeal to the IBLA?

    (a) Any party to a case adversely affected by a final decision of 
the ONRR Director or the Director, Bureau of Indian Affairs under this 
part shall have a right of appeal to the IBLA under the procedures 
provided in 43 CFR part 4, subpart E.
    (b) Notwithstanding 43 CFR 4.414(a), a party shall file an answer 
or appropriate motion within 60 days after service of the statement of 
reasons for appeal unless an extension of time is requested and 
granted.
0
5. Amend Sec.  1290.110 by revising paragraph (b)(2) to read as 
follows:


Sec.  1290.110  How do I exhaust administrative remedies?

* * * * *
    (b) * * *
    (1) * * *
    (2) The Assistant Secretary for Policy, Management and Budget.
* * * * *
0
6. Add new Sec.  1290.111 to read as follows:


Sec.  1290.111  What happens if I do not pay or appeal an order?

    If you neither pay nor appeal an order under this part, that order 
is the final decision of the Department, you have failed to exhaust 
administrative remedies as required under Sec.  1290.110(a), and you 
may not contest the validity or merits of that order in any subsequent 
proceeding to enforce that order under 30 U.S.C. 1719 and part 1241 of 
this chapter.

TITLE 43--PUBLIC LANDS: INTERIOR

SUBTITLE A--Office of the Secretary of the Interior

PART 4--DEPARTMENT HEARINGS AND APPEALS PROCEDURES

Subpart J--Special Rules Applicable to Appeals Concerning Federal 
Oil and Gas Royalties and Related Matters

0
7. The authority citation for subpart J continues to read as follows:

    Authority:  5 U.S.C. 301 et seq.; 25 U.S.C. 396 et seq., 396a et 
seq., 2101 et seq.; 30 U.S.C. 181 et seq., 351 et seq., 1001 et 
seq., 1701 et seq.; 31 U.S.C. 9701; 43 U.S.C. 1301 et seq., 1331 et 
seq., and 1801 et seq.

0
8. Amend the sections in part 4 indicated in the left column of the 
following table by removing the text in the center column and adding in 
its place the text in the right column.


Sec. Sec.  4.902, 4.903, 4.906, 4.907, and 4.908  [Amended]

[[Page 43847]]



                                           Amendment Table for Part 4
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                  By removing the reference
             Amend                           to:                           And adding in its place:
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Sec.   4.902(a)                  30 CFR part 290 in effect    30 CFR part 1290.
                                  prior to May 13, 1999 and
                                  contained in the 30 CFR,
                                  parts 200 to 699, edition
                                  revised as of July 1,
                                  1998, 30 CFR part 290
                                  subpart B
Sec.   4.902(a)                  Minerals Management Service  Office of Natural Resources (ONRR).
                                  (MMS)
Sec.   4.903, definition of      MMS                          ONRR.
 Delegated State
Sec.   4.903, definition of      30 CFR part 227              30 CFR part 1227.
 Delegated State
Sec.   4.903, definition of      30 CFR 218.52                30 CFR 1218.52.
 Designee
Sec.   4.903, definition of      MMS                          ONRR.
 Monetary obligation
Sec.   4.903, definition of      MMS                          ONRR.
 Notice of Order (two times)
Sec.   4.903, definition of      MMS                          ONRR.
 Party
Sec.   4.903, definition of      30 CFR part 290 subpart B    30 CFR part 1290.
 Party (two times)
Sec.   4.906(b)(1)               MMS                          ONRR.
Sec.   4.906(b)(2)               MMS                          ONRR.
Sec.   4.906(d) (three times)    MMS                          ONRR.
Sec.   4.907 (table of content   MMS                          ONRR.
 and section heading)
Sec.   4.907(a) (two times)      MMS                          ONRR.
Sec.   4.907(b)                  MMS                          ONRR.
Sec.   4.907(c)                  MMS                          ONRR's.
Sec.   4.908(a)                  MMS's                        ONRR.
Sec.   4.908(b)                  MMS                          ONRR.
Sec.   4.908(c)                  MMS                          ONRR.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

0
9. Amend the definitions of Order and Payor in Sec.  4.903 to read as 
follows:


Sec.  4.903  What definitions apply to this subpart?

* * * * *
    Order means any document or portion of a document issued by the 
ONRR Director or a delegated State that contains mandatory or ordering 
language regarding any monetary or nonmonetary obligation under any 
Federal oil and gas lease or leases.
    (1) Order includes:
    (i) An order to pay (Order to Pay) or to compute and pay (Order to 
Perform a Restructured Accounting); and
    (ii) An ONRR or delegated State decision to deny a lessee's, 
designee's, or payor's written request that asserts an obligation due 
the lessee, designee, or payor.
    (2) Order does not include:
    (i) A non-binding request, information, or guidance, such as:
    (A) Advice or guidance on how to report or pay, including valuation 
determination, unless it contains mandatory or ordering language; and
    (B) A policy determination;
    (ii) A subpoena;
    (iii) An order to pay that ONRR issues to a refiner or other person 
involved in disposition of royalty taken in kind; or
    (iv) A Notice of Noncompliance or a Notice of Civil Penalty issued 
under 30 U.S.C. 1719 and 30 CFR 1241, or a decision of an 
administrative law judge or of the IBLA following a hearing on the 
record on a Notice of Noncompliance or Notice of Civil Penalty.
    (v) A ``Dear Payor,'' ``Dear Operator,'' or ``Dear Reporter'' 
letter unless it explicitly includes the right to appeal in writing; or
    (vi) Any correspondence that does not include the right to appeal 
in writing.
* * * * *
    Payor means any person responsible for reporting and paying 
royalties for Federal oil and gas leases.
0
10. Revise Sec.  4.904 to read as follows:


Sec.  4.904  When does my appeal commence and end?

    For purposes of the period in which the Department must issue a 
final decision in your appeal under Sec.  4.906:
    (a) Your appeal commences on the date ONRR receives your Notice of 
Appeal.
    (b) Your appeal ends on the same day of the 33rd calendar month 
after your appeal commenced under paragraph (a) of this section, plus 
the number of days of any applicable time extensions under Sec.  4.909 
or 30 CFR 1290.109. If the 33rd calendar month after your appeal 
commenced does not have the same day of the month as the day of the 
month your appeal commenced, then the initial 33-month period ends on 
the last day of the 33rd calendar month.
0
11. Amend Sec.  4.906 by revising paragraph (b)(3) to read as follows:


Sec.  4.906  What if the Department does not issue a decision by the 
date my appeal ends?

* * * * *
    (b) * * *
    (3) If the ONRR Director issues a decision in your appeal, and if 
you do not appeal the Director's decision to IBLA within the time 
required under 30 CFR part 1290, then the ONRR Director's decision is 
the final decision of the Department and 30 U.S.C. 1724(h)(2) has no 
application.
* * * * *
[FR Doc. 2013-17535 Filed 7-19-13; 8:45 am]
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