Minerals management: Oil and gas leasing— Federal oil and gas resources; protection against drainage by operations on nearby lands that would result in lower royalties from Federal leases,

 
CONTENT

[Federal Register: December 3, 1998 (Volume 63, Number 232)]

[Proposed Rules]

[Page 66776-66777]

From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]

[DOCID:fr03de98-29]

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Bureau of Land Management

43 CFR Parts 3100, 3106, 3130, and 3160

[AA-610-08-4111-2410]

RIN 1004-AC54

Oil and Gas Leasing; Onshore Oil and Gas Operations

AGENCY: Bureau of Land Management, Interior.

ACTION: Proposed rule; reopening of comment period.

SUMMARY: The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is reopening the public comment period under a proposed rule published in the Federal Register on January 13, 1998, (63 FR 1936), concerning lessee responsibility for oil and gas drainage. BLM is reopening the comment period for 60 days in order to consult with Indian Tribes, pursuant to Executive Order 13084, on the issue of whether the proposed rule should apply to Tribal and individual Indian oil and gas leases. BLM seeks further public comments solely on the issue of the appropriateness of applying the proposed rule to Indian oil and gas leases.

DATES: Comments must be received on or before February 1, 1999. BLM will not necessarily consider comments received after this time in developing the final rule or include them in the administrative record.

ADDRESSES: If you wish to comment, you may submit your comments by any one of several methods. You may mail comments to the Bureau of Land Management, Administrative Record, 1849 ``C'' Street, NW, Room 401LS, Washington, DC 20240. You may also comment via the Internet to WOComment@wo.blm.gov. Please submit comments as an ASCII file avoiding the use of special characters and any form of encryption. Please also include ``Attn: AC54'' and your name and return address in your Internet message. If you do not receive a confirmation from the system that we have received your Internet message, contact us directly at (202) 452-5030.

Comments, including names and street addresses of respondents, will be available for public review at this address during regular business hours (7:45 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.), Eastern Time, Monday through Friday, except holidays. BLM will also post all comments on its home page (www.blm.gov) at the end of the comment period. Individual respondents may request confidentiality, which BLM will consider on a case-by-case basis. If you wish to request that BLM consider withholding your name, home street address, Internet address, or personal telephone number from public review or from disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act, you must state this prominently at the beginning of your comment. Such requests will be honored to the extent allowed by law. All submissions from organizations or businesses, and individuals identifying themselves as representatives or officials of organizations or businesses, will be made available for public inspection in their entirety.

Finally, you may hand-deliver comments to BLM at 1620 L Street, NW, Room 401, Washington, DC.

[[Page 66777]]

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Donnie Shaw, Fluid Minerals Group, Bureau of Land Management, Mail Stop 401LS, 1849 ``C'' Street, NW, Washington, DC 20240; telephone (202) 452-0340 (Commercial or FTS). Individuals who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1-800-877-8339 between 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m., Eastern Time, Monday through Friday.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: On January 13, 1998, (63 FR 1936), BLM published the drainage proposed rule in the Federal Register. The comment period was extended for 60 days in a notice published on February 24, 1998, (63 FR 9171). BLM is reopening the comment period for 60 days in order to consult with Indian Tribes, pursuant to Executive Order 13084, on the issue of whether the proposed rule should apply to Tribal and individual Indian oil and gas leases. Comments were solicited on this question in the original Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, but only one comment was received.

BLM seeks further public comments solely on the issue of the appropriateness of applying the proposed rule to Indian oil and gas leases. Specifically, BLM seeks comment on the issue of whether the proposed amendments to 43 CFR 3100.5 through 3100.80 should apply to both Federal and Indian leases. Should BLM determine to make those amendments applicable to Indian leases as well as Federal leases, the proposed amendments would be made in Part 3160 and replace 3162.2(a) and (b).

BLM is not considering applying to Indian oil and gas leases the proposed revisions to 43 CFR Subpart 3106 governing the obligations of Federal oil and gas assignors and assignees. Instead, Indian oil and gas leases are governed by the obligations in 25 CFR 211.53 and 212.53.

The proposed rule would clarify the responsibilities of oil and gas lessees for protecting Federal and Indian oil and gas resources from drainage by operations on nearby lands that would result in lower royalties to the Federal Government and Indian mineral owners. It would specify when the obligations of the lessee or operating rights owner to protect against drainage begin and end and what steps should be taken to determine if drainage is occurring.

Dated: November 23, 1998. Sylvia V. Baca, Acting Assistant Secretary, Land and Minerals Management.

[FR Doc. 98-31846Filed12-2-98; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4310-84-p