[Federal Register Volume 76, Number 126 (Thursday, June 30, 2011)]
[Pages 38412-38414]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2011-16438]



Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement

Docket ID No. BOEM-2011-0036]

BOEMRE Information Collection Activity: Geological and 
Geophysical (G&G) Explorations of the OCS, Revision of a Collection; 
Comment Request

AGENCY: Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement 
(BOEMRE), Interior.

ACTION: Notice of a revision of an information collection.


SUMMARY: To comply with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA), 
BOEMRE 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 for Geological and 
Geophysical (G&G) Explorations of the Outer Continental Shelf, and in 
particular, we are revising BOEMRE Form MMS-0327 to adapt to new 
advances in technology (digital options) and clarifying requirements 
for environmental compliance.

DATES: Submit written comments by August 29, 2011.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Cheryl Blundon, Regulations and 
Standards Branch at (703) 787-1607. You may also contact Cheryl Blundon 
to obtain a copy, at no cost, of the regulation and form that requires 
the subject collection of information. Also, you can view or print the 
form via regulations.gov. See the instructions listed in the ADDRESSES 

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments by either of the following methods 
listed below.
     Electronically: go to http://www.regulations.gov. In the 
entry titled Enter Keyword or ID, enter BOEM-2011-0036 then click 
search. Follow the instructions to submit public comments and view 
supporting and related materials available for this collection. BOEMRE 
will post all comments.
     E-mail cheryl.blundon@boemre.gov. Mail or hand-carry 
comments to the Department of the Interior; Bureau of Ocean Energy 
Management, Regulation and Enforcement; Attention: Cheryl Blundon; 381 
Elden Street, MS-4024; Herndon, Virginia 20170-4817. Please reference 
ICR 1010-0048 in your comment and include your name and return address.

    Title: 30 CFR Part 251, Geological and Geophysical (G&G) 
Explorations of the Outer Continental Shelf.
    BOEMRE Form(s): MMS-0327.
    OMB Control Number: 1010-0048.
    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 (Secretary) to prescribe rules and 
regulations to administer leasing of the OCS. Such rules and 
regulations will apply to all operations conducted under a lease. 
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.
    The OCS Lands Act (43 U.S.C. 1340) also states that ``any person 
authorized by the Secretary may conduct geological and geophysical 
explorations in the [O]uter Continental Shelf, which do not interfere 
with or endanger actual operations under any lease maintained or 
granted pursuant to this OCS Lands Act, and which are not unduly 
harmful to aquatic life in such area.'' The section further requires 
that permits to conduct such activities may only be issued if it is 
determined that the applicant is qualified; the activities are not 
polluting, hazardous, or unsafe; they do not interfere with other users 
of the area; and do not disturb a site, structure, or object of 
historical or archaeological significance. Applicants for permits are 
required to submit BOEMRE Form MMS-0327 to provide the information 
necessary to evaluate their qualifications.
    The OCS Lands Act (43 U.S.C. 1352) further requires that certain 
costs be reimbursed to the parties submitting required G&G information 
and data. Under the OCS Lands Act, permittees are to be reimbursed for 
the costs of reproducing any G&G data required to be submitted. 
Permittees are to be reimbursed also for the reasonable cost of 
processing geophysical information required to be submitted when 
processing is in a form or manner required by the Director of BOEMRE 
and is not used in the normal conduct of the business of the permittee.
    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, BOEMRE 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. The G&G permits are subject 
to cost recovery, and BOEMRE regulations specify the filing fee for the 
    Regulations at 30 CFR part 251 implement these statutory 
requirements. We use the information to ensure there is no 
environmental degradation, personal harm or unsafe operations and 
conditions, damage to historical or archaeological sites, or 
interference with other uses; to analyze and evaluate preliminary or 
planned drilling activities; to monitor progress and activities in the 
OCS; to acquire G&G data and information collected under a Federal 
permit offshore; and to determine eligibility for reimbursement from 
the government for certain costs. The information is necessary to 
determine if the applicants for permits or filers of notices meet the 
qualifications specified by the OCS Lands Act. BOEMRE uses information 
collected to understand the G&G characteristics of oil- and gas-bearing 
physiographic regions of the OCS. It aids the Secretary in obtaining a 

[[Page 38413]]

balance among the potentials for environmental damage, the discovery of 
oil and gas, and adverse impacts on affected coastal States. 
Information from permittees is necessary to determine the propriety and 
amount of reimbursement. Also, we are revising BOEMRE Form MMS-0327 to 
adapt to new advances in technology (electronic options) and clarifying 
requirements for environmental compliance.
    We will protect information from respondents considered proprietary 
according to the Freedom of Information Act (5 U.S.C. 552) and its 
implementing regulations (43 CFR part 2), the Federal Oil and Gas 
Royalty Management Act of 1982 (30 U.S.C. 1733), and under regulations 
at 30 CFR parts 250, 251, and 252.
    No items of a sensitive nature are collected. Responses are 
    Frequency: On occasion, annual; and as specified in permits.
    Description of Respondents: Potential respondents comprise Federal 
OCS oil, gas, and sulphur permittees or notice filers.
    Estimated Reporting and Recordkeeping Hour Burden: The currently 
approved annual reporting burden for this collection is 1,246 hours. 
The following chart details the individual components and respective 
burden estimates of this ICR. 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.

                                                            Hour burden
                                      Reporting and      ---------------
      Citation 30 CFR 251             recordkeeping        Non-hour cost
                                       requirement            burden
                       30 CFR 251.1 through 251.6
251.4(a), (b); 251.5(a), (b),    Apply for permits                     3
 (d); 251.6; 251.7.               (BOEMRE Form MMS-0327)          $2,012
                                  to conduct G&G             application
                                  exploration, including            fee.
                                  deep stratigraphic
                                  tests/revisions when
251.4(b); 251.5(c), (d); 251.6.  File notices to conduct               1
                                  scientific research
                                  activities, including
                                  notice to BOEMRE prior
                                  to beginning and after
                                  concluding activities.
251.6(b); 251.7(b)(5)..........  Notify BOEMRE if                      1
                                  specific actions
                                  should occur; report
                                  resources (no
                                  instances reported
                                  since 1982).
                       30 CFR 251.7 through 251.9
251.7..........................  Submit information on                 0
                                  test drilling
                                  activities under a
                                  permit, including
                                  BOEMRE Forms MMS-0123
                                  and MMS-0123S. Burden
                                  included under 1010-
251.7(c).......................  Enter into agreement                  1
                                  for group
                                  participation in test
                                  drilling, including
                                  publishing summary
                                  statement; provide
                                  BOEMRE copy of notice/
                                  list of participants
                                  (no agreements
                                  submitted since 1989).
251.7(d).......................  Submit bond(s) on deep                0
                                  stratigraphic test.
                                  Burden included under
                                  30 CFR part 256 (1010-
251.8(a).......................  Request reimbursement                 1
                                  for certain costs
                                  associated with BOEMRE
                                  inspections (no
                                  requests in many
251.8(b), (c)..................  Submit modifications                  2
                                  to, and status/final
                                  reports on, activities
                                  conducted under a
251.9(c).......................  Notify BOEMRE to                    1/2
                                  relinquish a permit.
                      30 CFR 251.10 through 251.13
251.10(c)......................  File appeals. Exempt                  0
                                  under 5 CFR
                                  1320.4(a)(2), (c).
251.11; 251.12.................  Notify BOEMRE and                     4
                                  submit G&G data and/or
                                  information collected
                                  under a permit and/or
                                  processed by
                                  permittees or 3rd
                                  parties, including
                                  reports, logs or
                                  charts, results,
                                  descriptions, etc.
251.13.........................  Request reimbursement                 2
                                  for certain costs
                                  associated with
                                  reproducing data/
                              30 CFR 251.14
251.14(a)......................  Submit comments on                    1
                                  BOEMRE intent to
                                  disclose data and/or
                                  information to the
251.14(c)(2)...................  Submit comments on                    1
                                  BOEMRE intent to
                                  disclose data and/or
                                  information to an
                                  independent contractor/
251.14(c)(4)...................  Contractor/agent                      1
                                  submits written
                                  commitment not to
                                  sell, trade, license,
                                  or disclose data and/
                                  or information without
                                  BOEMRE consent.
251.1-251.14...................  General departure and                 1
                                  alternative compliance
                                  requests not
                                  specifically covered
                                  elsewhere in part 251
                Extension for Permit Form & Recordkeeping
BOEMRE Permit Form (Form MMS-    Request extension of                  1
 0327).                           permit time period.
                                 Retain G&G data/                      1
                                  information for 10
                                  years and make
                                  available to BOEMRE
                                  upon request.

[[Page 38414]]

    Estimated Reporting and Recordkeeping Non-Hour Cost Burden: We have 
identified one non-hour cost burden for this collection. In Sec.  
251.5, BOEMRE charges a $2,012 G&G application fee. We have identified 
no other non-hour paperwork cost burden.
    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: 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.
    Agencies must also estimate the non-hour cost burdens to 
respondents or recordkeepers resulting from the collection of 
information. Therefore, 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, and record storage 
facilities. You should not include estimates for 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 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 submission for OMB approval. As a result of your comments, we 
will make any necessary adjustments to the burden in our submission to 
    Public Comment Procedures: Before including your address, phone 
number, email 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 review, we cannot 
guarantee that we will be able to do so.
    BOEMRE Information Collection Clearance Officer: Arlene Bajusz 
(703) 787-1025.

    Dated: June 1, 2011.
Doug Slitor,
Acting Chief, Office of Offshore Regulatory Programs.
[FR Doc. 2011-16438 Filed 6-29-11; 8:45 am]