[USC02] 42 USC CHAPTER 149, SUBCHAPTER III, Part A: Production Incentives
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42 USC CHAPTER 149, SUBCHAPTER III, Part A: Production Incentives
From Title 42—THE PUBLIC HEALTH AND WELFARECHAPTER 149—NATIONAL ENERGY POLICY AND PROGRAMSSUBCHAPTER III—OIL AND GAS

Part A—Production Incentives

§15901. Definition of Secretary

In this part, the term "Secretary" means the Secretary of the Interior.

(Pub. L. 109–58, title III, §341, Aug. 8, 2005, 119 Stat. 697.)

References in Text

This part, referred to in text, was in the original "this subtitle", meaning subtitle E (§§341–357) of title III of Pub. L. 109–58, Aug. 8, 2005, 119 Stat. 697, which enacted this part, amended sections 6504, 6506a, 6507, and 6508 of this title, sections 184 and 226 of Title 30, Mineral Lands and Mining, and section 1337 of Title 43, Public Lands, and enacted provisions set out as a note under section 226 of Title 30. For complete classification of subtitle E to the Code, see Tables.

§15902. Program on oil and gas royalties in-kind

(a) Applicability of section

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, this section applies to all royalty in-kind accepted by the Secretary on or after August 8, 2005, under any Federal oil or gas lease or permit under—

(1) section 192 of title 30;

(2) section 1353 of title 43; or

(3) any other Federal law governing leasing of Federal land for oil and gas development.

(b) Terms and conditions

All royalty accruing to the United States shall, on the demand of the Secretary, be paid in-kind. If the Secretary makes such a demand, the following provisions apply to the payment:

(1) Satisfaction of royalty obligation

Delivery by, or on behalf of, the lessee of the royalty amount and quality due under the lease satisfies royalty obligation of the lessee for the amount delivered, except that transportation and processing reimbursements paid to, or deductions claimed by, the lessee shall be subject to review and audit.

(2) Marketable condition

(A) Definition of marketable condition

In this paragraph, the term "in marketable condition" means sufficiently free from impurities and otherwise in a condition that the royalty production will be accepted by a purchaser under a sales contract typical of the field or area in which the royalty production was produced.

(B) Requirement

Royalty production shall be placed in marketable condition by the lessee at no cost to the United States.

(3) Disposition by the Secretary

The Secretary may—

(A) sell or otherwise dispose of any royalty production taken in-kind (other than oil or gas transferred under section 1353(a)(3) of title 43 1 for not less than the market price; and

(B) transport or process (or both) any royalty production taken in-kind.

(4) Retention by the Secretary

The Secretary may, notwithstanding section 3302 of title 31, retain and use a portion of the revenues from the sale of oil and gas taken in-kind that otherwise would be deposited to miscellaneous receipts, without regard to fiscal year limitation, or may use oil or gas received as royalty taken in-kind (referred to in this paragraph as "royalty production") to pay the cost of—

(A) transporting the royalty production;

(B) processing the royalty production;

(C) disposing of the royalty production; or

(D) any combination of transporting, processing, and disposing of the royalty production.

(5) Limitation

(A) In general

Except as provided in subparagraph (B), the Secretary may not use revenues from the sale of oil and gas taken in-kind to pay for personnel, travel, or other administrative costs of the Federal Government.

(B) Exception

Notwithstanding subparagraph (A), the Secretary may use a portion of the revenues from royalty in-kind sales, without fiscal year limitation, to pay salaries and other administrative costs directly related to the royalty in-kind program.

(c) Reimbursement of cost

If the lessee, pursuant to an agreement with the United States or as provided in the lease, processes the royalty gas or delivers the royalty oil or gas at a point not on or adjacent to the lease area, the Secretary shall—

(1) reimburse the lessee for the reasonable costs of transportation (not including gathering) from the lease to the point of delivery or for processing costs; or

(2) allow the lessee to deduct the transportation or processing costs in reporting and paying royalties in-value for other Federal oil and gas leases.

(d) Benefit to the United States required

The Secretary may receive oil or gas royalties in-kind only if the Secretary determines that receiving royalties in-kind provides benefits to the United States that are greater than or equal to the benefits that are likely to have been received had royalties been taken in-value.

(e) Deduction of expenses

(1) In general

Before making payments under section 191 of title 30 or section 1337(g) of title 43 of revenues derived from the sale of royalty production taken in-kind from a lease, the Secretary shall deduct amounts paid or deducted under subsections (b)(4) and (c) and deposit the amount of the deductions in the miscellaneous receipts of the Treasury.

(2) Accounting for deductions

When the Secretary allows the lessee to deduct transportation or processing costs under subsection (c), the Secretary may not reduce any payments to recipients of revenues derived from any other Federal oil and gas lease as a consequence of that deduction.

(f) Consultation with States

The Secretary—

(1) shall consult with a State before conducting a royalty in-kind program under this part within the State;

(2) may delegate management of any portion of the Federal royalty in-kind program to the State except as otherwise prohibited by Federal law; and

(3) shall consult annually with any State from which Federal oil or gas royalty is being taken in-kind to ensure, to the maximum extent practicable, that the royalty in-kind program provides revenues to the State greater than or equal to the revenues likely to have been received had royalties been taken in-value.

(g) Small refineries

(1) Preference

If the Secretary finds that sufficient supplies of crude oil are not available in the open market to refineries that do not have their own source of supply for crude oil, the Secretary may grant preference to those refineries in the sale of any royalty oil accruing or reserved to the United States under Federal oil and gas leases issued under any mineral leasing law, for processing or use in those refineries at private sale at not less than the market price.

(2) Proration among refineries in production area

In disposing of oil under this subsection, the Secretary may, at the discretion of the Secretary, prorate the oil among refineries described in paragraph (1) in the area in which the oil is produced.

(h) Disposition to Federal agencies

(1) Onshore royalty

Any royalty oil or gas taken by the Secretary in-kind from onshore oil and gas leases may be sold at not less than the market price to any Federal agency.

(2) Offshore royalty

Any royalty oil or gas taken in-kind from a Federal oil or gas lease on the outer Continental Shelf may be disposed of only under section 1353 of title 43.

(i) Federal low-income energy assistance programs

(1) Preference

In disposing of royalty oil or gas taken in-kind under this section, the Secretary may grant a preference to any person, including any Federal or State agency, for the purpose of providing additional resources to any Federal low-income energy assistance program.

(2) Report

Not later than 3 years after August 8, 2005, the Secretary shall submit a report to Congress—

(A) assessing the effectiveness of granting preferences specified in paragraph (1); and

(B) providing a specific recommendation on the continuation of authority to grant preferences.

(Pub. L. 109–58, title III, §342, Aug. 8, 2005, 119 Stat. 697; Pub. L. 113–188, title XI, §1101, Nov. 26, 2014, 128 Stat. 2023.)

References in Text

This part, referred to in subsec. (f)(1), was in the original "this subtitle", meaning subtitle E (§§341–357) of title III of Pub. L. 109–58, Aug. 8, 2005, 119 Stat. 697, which enacted this part, amended sections 6504, 6506a, 6507, and 6508 of this title, sections 184 and 226 of Title 30, Mineral Lands and Mining, and section 1337 of Title 43, Public Lands, and enacted provisions set out as a note under section 226 of Title 30. For complete classification of subtitle E to the Code, see Tables.

Amendments

2014—Subsecs. (e) to (j). Pub. L. 113–188 redesignated subsecs. (f) to (j) as (e) to (i), respectively, and struck out former subsec. (e) which required various reports on oil and gas royalties in-kind.

1 So in original. Probably should be followed by a closing parenthesis.

§15903. Marginal property production incentives

(a) Definition of marginal property

Until such time as the Secretary issues regulations under subsection (e) that prescribe a different definition, in this section, the term "marginal property" means an onshore unit, communitization agreement, or lease not within a unit or communitization agreement, that produces on average the combined equivalent of less than 15 barrels of oil per well per day or 90,000,000 British thermal units of gas per well per day calculated based on the average over the 3 most recent production months, including only wells that produce on more than half of the days during those 3 production months.

(b) Conditions for reduction of royalty rate

Until such time as the Secretary issues regulations under subsection (e) that prescribe different standards or requirements, the Secretary shall reduce the royalty rate on—

(1) oil production from marginal properties as prescribed in subsection (c) if the spot price of West Texas Intermediate crude oil at Cushing, Oklahoma, is, on average, less than $15 per barrel (adjusted in accordance with the Consumer Price Index for all-urban consumers, United States city average, as published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics) for 90 consecutive trading days; and

(2) gas production from marginal properties as prescribed in subsection (c) if the spot price of natural gas delivered at Henry Hub, Louisiana, is, on average, less than $2.00 per million British thermal units (adjusted in accordance with the Consumer Price Index for all-urban consumers, United States city average, as published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics) for 90 consecutive trading days.

(c) Reduced royalty rate

(1) In general

When a marginal property meets the conditions specified in subsection (b), the royalty rate shall be the lesser of—

(A) 5 percent; or

(B) the applicable rate under any other statutory or regulatory royalty relief provision that applies to the affected production.

(2) Period of effectiveness

The reduced royalty rate under this subsection shall be effective beginning on the first day of the production month following the date on which the applicable condition specified in subsection (b) is met.

(d) Termination of reduced royalty rate

A royalty rate prescribed in subsection (c)(1) shall terminate—

(1) with respect to oil production from a marginal property, on the first day of the production month following the date on which—

(A) the spot price of West Texas Intermediate crude oil at Cushing, Oklahoma, on average, exceeds $15 per barrel (adjusted in accordance with the Consumer Price Index for all-urban consumers, United States city average, as published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics) for 90 consecutive trading days; or

(B) the property no longer qualifies as a marginal property; and


(2) with respect to gas production from a marginal property, on the first day of the production month following the date on which—

(A) the spot price of natural gas delivered at Henry Hub, Louisiana, on average, exceeds $2.00 per million British thermal units (adjusted in accordance with the Consumer Price Index for all-urban consumers, United States city average, as published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics) for 90 consecutive trading days; or

(B) the property no longer qualifies as a marginal property.

(e) Regulations prescribing different relief

(1) Discretionary regulations

The Secretary may by regulation prescribe different parameters, standards, and requirements for, and a different degree or extent of, royalty relief for marginal properties in lieu of those prescribed in subsections (a) through (d).

(2) Mandatory regulations

Unless a determination is made under paragraph (3), not later than 18 months after August 8, 2005, the Secretary shall by regulation—

(A) prescribe standards and requirements for, and the extent of royalty relief for, marginal properties for oil and gas leases on the outer Continental Shelf; and

(B) define what constitutes a marginal property on the outer Continental Shelf for purposes of this section.

(3) Report

To the extent the Secretary determines that it is not practicable to issue the regulations referred to in paragraph (2), the Secretary shall provide a report to Congress explaining such determination by not later than 18 months after August 8, 2005.

(4) Considerations

In issuing regulations under this subsection, the Secretary may consider—

(A) oil and gas prices and market trends;

(B) production costs;

(C) abandonment costs;

(D) Federal and State tax provisions and the effects of those provisions on production economics;

(E) other royalty relief programs;

(F) regional differences in average wellhead prices;

(G) national energy security issues; and

(H) other relevant matters, as determined by the Secretary.

(f) Savings provision

Nothing in this section prevents a lessee from receiving royalty relief or a royalty reduction pursuant to any other law (including a regulation) that provides more relief than the amounts provided by this section.

(Pub. L. 109–58, title III, §343, Aug. 8, 2005, 119 Stat. 700.)

§15904. Incentives for natural gas production from deep wells in the shallow waters of the Gulf of Mexico

(a) Royalty incentive regulations for ultra deep gas wells

(1) In general

Not later than 180 days after August 8, 2005, in addition to any other regulations that may provide royalty incentives for natural gas produced from deep wells on oil and gas leases issued pursuant to the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (43 U.S.C. 1331 et seq.), the Secretary shall issue regulations granting royalty relief suspension volumes of not less than 35 billion cubic feet with respect to the production of natural gas from ultra deep wells on leases issued in shallow waters less than 400 meters deep located in the Gulf of Mexico wholly west of 87 degrees, 30 minutes west longitude. Regulations issued under this subsection shall be retroactive to the date that the notice of proposed rulemaking is published in the Federal Register.

(2) Suspension volumes

The Secretary may grant suspension volumes of not less than 35 billion cubic feet in any case in which—

(A) the ultra deep well is a sidetrack; or

(B) the lease has previously produced from wells with a perforated interval the top of which is at least 15,000 feet true vertical depth below the datum at mean sea level.

(3) Definitions

In this subsection:

(A) Ultra deep well

The term "ultra deep well" means a well drilled with a perforated interval, the top of which is at least 20,000 true vertical depth below the datum at mean sea level.

(B) Sidetrack

(i) In general

The term "sidetrack" means a well resulting from drilling an additional hole to a new objective bottom-hole location by leaving a previously drilled hole.

(ii) Inclusion

The term "sidetrack" includes—

(I) drilling a well from a platform slot reclaimed from a previously drilled well;

(II) re-entering and deepening a previously drilled well; and

(III) a bypass from a sidetrack, including drilling around material blocking a hole or drilling to straighten a crooked hole.

(b) Royalty incentive regulations for deep gas wells

Not later than 180 days after August 8, 2005, in addition to any other regulations that may provide royalty incentives for natural gas produced from deep wells on oil and gas leases issued pursuant to the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (43 U.S.C. 1331 et seq.), the Secretary shall issue regulations granting royalty relief suspension volumes with respect to production of natural gas from deep wells on leases issued in waters more than 200 meters but less than 400 meters deep located in the Gulf of Mexico wholly west of 87 degrees, 30 minutes west longitude. The suspension volumes for deep wells within 200 to 400 meters of water depth shall be calculated using the same methodology used to calculate the suspension volumes for deep wells in the shallower waters of the Gulf of Mexico, and in no case shall the suspension volumes for deep wells within 200 to 400 meters of water depth be lower than those for deep wells in shallower waters. Regulations issued under this subsection shall be retroactive to the date that the notice of proposed rulemaking is published in the Federal Register.

(c) Limitations

The Secretary may place limitations on the royalty relief granted under this section based on market price. The royalty relief granted under this section shall not apply to a lease for which deep water royalty relief is available.

(Pub. L. 109–58, title III, §344, Aug. 8, 2005, 119 Stat. 702.)

References in Text

The Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act, referred to in subsecs. (a)(1) and (b), is act Aug. 7, 1953, ch. 345, 67 Stat. 462, as amended, which is classified generally to subchapter III (§1331 et seq.) of chapter 29 of Title 43, Public Lands. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 1301 of Title 43 and Tables.

§15905. Royalty relief for deep water production

(a) In general

Subject to subsections (b) and (c), for each tract located in water depths of greater than 400 meters in the Western and Central Planning Area of the Gulf of Mexico (including the portion of the Eastern Planning Area of the Gulf of Mexico encompassing whole lease blocks lying west of 87 degrees, 30 minutes West longitude), any oil or gas lease sale under the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (43 U.S.C. 1331 et seq.) occurring during the 5-year period beginning on August 8, 2005, shall use the bidding system authorized under section 8(a)(1)(H) of the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (43 U.S.C. 1337(a)(1)(H)).

(b) Suspension of royalties

The suspension of royalties under subsection (a) shall be established at a volume of not less than—

(1) 5,000,000 barrels of oil equivalent for each lease in water depths of 400 to 800 meters;

(2) 9,000,000 barrels of oil equivalent for each lease in water depths of 800 to 1,600 meters;

(3) 12,000,000 barrels of oil equivalent for each lease in water depths of 1,600 to 2,000 meters; and

(4) 16,000,000 barrels of oil equivalent for each lease in water depths greater than 2,000 meters.

(c) Limitation

The Secretary may place limitations on royalty relief granted under this section based on market price.

(Pub. L. 109–58, title III, §345, Aug. 8, 2005, 119 Stat. 703.)

References in Text

The Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act, referred to in subsec. (a), is act Aug. 7, 1953, ch. 345, 67 Stat. 462, as amended, which is classified generally to subchapter III (§1331 et seq.) of chapter 29 of Title 43, Public Lands. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 1301 of Title 43 and Tables.

§15906. North Slope Science Initiative

(a) Establishment

(1) In general

The Secretary of the Interior shall establish a long-term initiative to be known as the "North Slope Science Initiative" (referred to in this section as the "Initiative").

(2) Purpose

The purpose of the Initiative shall be to implement efforts to coordinate collection of scientific data that will provide a better understanding of the terrestrial, aquatic, and marine ecosystems of the North Slope of Alaska.

(b) Objectives

To ensure that the Initiative is conducted through a comprehensive science strategy and implementation plan, the Initiative shall, at a minimum—

(1) identify and prioritize information needs for inventory, monitoring, and research activities to address the individual and cumulative effects of past, ongoing, and anticipated development activities and environmental change on the North Slope;

(2) develop an understanding of information needs for regulatory and land management agencies, local governments, and the public;

(3) focus on prioritization of pressing natural resource management and ecosystem information needs, coordination, and cooperation among agencies and organizations;

(4) coordinate ongoing and future inventory, monitoring, and research activities to minimize duplication of effort, share financial resources and expertise, and assure the collection of quality information;

(5) identify priority needs not addressed by agency science programs in effect on August 8, 2005, and develop a funding strategy to meet those needs;

(6) provide a consistent approach to high caliber science, including inventory, monitoring, and research;

(7) maintain and improve public and agency access to—

(A) accumulated and ongoing research; and

(B) contemporary and traditional local knowledge; and


(8) ensure through appropriate peer review that the science conducted by participating agencies and organizations is of the highest technical quality.

(c) Membership

(1) In general

To ensure comprehensive collection of scientific data, in carrying out the Initiative, the Secretary shall consult and coordinate with Federal, State, and local agencies that have responsibilities for land and resource management across the North Slope.

(2) Cooperative agreements

The Secretary shall enter into cooperative agreements with the State of Alaska, the North Slope Borough, the Arctic Slope Regional Corporation, and other Federal agencies as appropriate to coordinate efforts, share resources, and fund projects under this section.

(d) Science technical advisory panel

(1) In general

The Initiative shall include a panel to provide advice on proposed inventory, monitoring, and research functions.

(2) Membership

The panel described in paragraph (1) shall consist of a representative group of not more than 15 scientists and technical experts from diverse professions and interests, including the oil and gas industry, subsistence users, Native Alaskan entities, conservation organizations, wildlife management organizations, and academia, as determined by the Secretary.

(e) Reports

Not later than 3 years after August 8, 2005, and each year thereafter, the Secretary shall publish a report that describes the studies and findings of the Initiative.

(f) Authorization of appropriations

There are authorized to be appropriated such sums as are necessary to carry out this section.

(Pub. L. 109–58, title III, §348, Aug. 8, 2005, 119 Stat. 708.)

§15907. Orphaned, abandoned, or idled wells on Federal land

(a) In general

The Secretary, in cooperation with the Secretary of Agriculture, shall establish a program not later than 1 year after August 8, 2005, to remediate, reclaim, and close orphaned, abandoned, or idled oil and gas wells located on land administered by the land management agencies within the Department of the Interior and the Department of Agriculture.

(b) Activities

The program under subsection (a) shall—

(1) include a means of ranking orphaned, abandoned, or idled wells sites for priority in remediation, reclamation, and closure, based on public health and safety, potential environmental harm, and other land use priorities;

(2) provide for identification and recovery of the costs of remediation, reclamation, and closure from persons or other entities currently providing a bond or other financial assurance required under State or Federal law for an oil or gas well that is orphaned, abandoned, or idled; and

(3) provide for recovery from the persons or entities identified under paragraph (2), or their sureties or guarantors, of the costs of remediation, reclamation, and closure of such wells.

(c) Cooperation and consultations

In carrying out the program under subsection (a), the Secretary shall—

(1) work cooperatively with the Secretary of Agriculture and the States within which Federal land is located; and

(2) consult with the Secretary of Energy and the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission.

(d) Plan

Not later than 1 year after August 8, 2005, the Secretary, in cooperation with the Secretary of Agriculture, shall submit to Congress a plan for carrying out the program under subsection (a).

(e) Idled well

For the purposes of this section, a well is idled if—

(1) the well has been nonoperational for at least 7 years; and

(2) there is no anticipated beneficial use for the well.

(f) Federal reimbursement for orphaned well reclamation pilot program

(1) Reimbursement for remediating, reclaiming, and closing wells on land subject to a new lease

The Secretary shall carry out a pilot program under which, in issuing a new oil and gas lease on federally owned land on which 1 or more orphaned wells are located, the Secretary—

(A) may require, other than as a condition of the lease, that the lessee remediate, reclaim, and close in accordance with standards established by the Secretary, all orphaned wells on the land leased; and

(B) shall develop a program to reimburse a lessee, through a royalty credit against the Federal share of royalties owed or other means, for the reasonable actual costs of remediating, reclaiming, and closing the orphaned wells pursuant to that requirement.

(2) Reimbursement for reclaiming orphaned wells on other land

In carrying out this subsection, the Secretary—

(A) may authorize any lessee under an oil and gas lease on federally owned land to reclaim in accordance with the Secretary's standards—

(i) an orphaned well on unleased federally owned land; or

(ii) an orphaned well located on an existing lease on federally owned land for the reclamation of which the lessee is not legally responsible; and


(B) shall develop a program to provide reimbursement of 100 percent of the reasonable actual costs of remediating, reclaiming, and closing the orphaned well, through credits against the Federal share of royalties or other means.

(3) Regulations

The Secretary may issue such regulations as are appropriate to carry out this subsection.

(g) Technical assistance program for non-Federal land

(1) In general

The Secretary of Energy shall establish a program to provide technical and financial assistance to oil and gas producing States to facilitate State efforts over a 10-year period to ensure a practical and economical remedy for environmental problems caused by orphaned or abandoned oil and gas exploration or production well sites on State or private land.

(2) Assistance

The Secretary of Energy shall work with the States, through the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission, to assist the States in quantifying and mitigating environmental risks of onshore orphaned or abandoned oil or gas wells on State and private land.

(3) Activities

The program under paragraph (1) shall include—

(A) mechanisms to facilitate identification, if feasible, of the persons currently providing a bond or other form of financial assurance required under State or Federal law for an oil or gas well that is orphaned or abandoned;

(B) criteria for ranking orphaned or abandoned well sites based on factors such as public health and safety, potential environmental harm, and other land use priorities;

(C) information and training programs on best practices for remediation of different types of sites; and

(D) funding of State mitigation efforts on a cost-shared basis.

(h) Authorization of appropriations

(1) In general

There are authorized to be appropriated to carry out this section $25,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2006 through 2010.

(2) Use

Of the amounts authorized under paragraph (1), $5,000,000 are authorized for each fiscal year for activities under subsection (f).

(i) Federally drilled wells

Out of any amounts in the Treasury not otherwise appropriated, $10,000,000 for fiscal year 2014, $36,000,000 for fiscal year 2015, and $4,000,000 for fiscal year 2019 shall be made available to the Secretary, without further appropriation and to remain available until expended, to remediate, reclaim, and close abandoned oil and gas wells on current or former National Petroleum Reserve land.

(Pub. L. 109–58, title III, §349, Aug. 8, 2005, 119 Stat. 709; Pub. L. 113–40, §10(b), Oct. 2, 2013, 127 Stat. 545.)

Amendments

2013—Subsec. (i). Pub. L. 113–40 added subsec. (i).

§15908. Preservation of geological and geophysical data

(a) Short title

This section may be cited as the "National Geological and Geophysical Data Preservation Program Act of 2005".

(b) Program

The Secretary shall carry out a National Geological and Geophysical Data Preservation Program in accordance with this section—

(1) to archive geologic, geophysical, and engineering data, maps, well logs, and samples;

(2) to provide a national catalog of such archival material; and

(3) to provide technical and financial assistance related to the archival material.

(c) Plan

Not later than 1 year after August 8, 2005, the Secretary shall submit to Congress a plan for the implementation of the Program.

(d) Data archive system

(1) Establishment

The Secretary shall establish, as a component of the Program, a data archive system to provide for the storage, preservation, and archiving of subsurface, surface, geological, geophysical, and engineering data and samples. The Secretary, in consultation with the Advisory Committee, shall develop guidelines relating to the data archive system, including the types of data and samples to be preserved.

(2) System components

The system shall be comprised of State agencies that elect to be part of the system and agencies within the Department of the Interior that maintain geological and geophysical data and samples that are designated by the Secretary in accordance with this subsection. The Program shall provide for the storage of data and samples through data repositories operated by such agencies.

(3) Limitation of designation

The Secretary may not designate a State agency as a component of the data archive system unless that agency is the agency that acts as the geological survey in the State.

(4) Data from Federal land

The data archive system shall provide for the archiving of relevant subsurface data and samples obtained from Federal land—

(A) in the most appropriate repository designated under paragraph (2), with preference being given to archiving data in the State in which the data were collected; and

(B) consistent with all applicable law and requirements relating to confidentiality and proprietary data.

(e) National catalog

(1) In general

As soon as practicable after August 8, 2005, the Secretary shall develop and maintain, as a component of the Program, a national catalog that identifies—

(A) data and samples available in the data archive system established under subsection (d);

(B) the repository for particular material in the system; and

(C) the means of accessing the material.

(2) Availability

The Secretary shall make the national catalog accessible to the public on the site of the Survey on the Internet, consistent with all applicable requirements related to confidentiality and proprietary data.

(f) Advisory Committee

(1) In general

The Advisory Committee shall advise the Secretary on planning and implementation of the Program.

(2) New duties

In addition to its duties under the National Geologic Mapping Act of 1992 (43 U.S.C. 31a et seq.), the Advisory Committee shall perform the following duties:

(A) Advise the Secretary on developing guidelines and procedures for providing assistance for facilities under subsection (g)(1).

(B) Review and critique the draft implementation plan prepared by the Secretary under subsection (c).

(C) Identify useful studies of data archived under the Program that will advance understanding of the Nation's energy and mineral resources, geologic hazards, and engineering geology.

(D) Review the progress of the Program in archiving significant data and preventing the loss of such data, and the scientific progress of the studies funded under the Program.

(E) Include in the annual report to the Secretary required under section 5(b)(3) 1 of the National Geologic Mapping Act of 1992 (43 U.S.C. 31d(b)(3)) an evaluation of the progress of the Program toward fulfilling the purposes of the Program under subsection (b).

(g) Financial assistance

(1) Archive facilities

Subject to the availability of appropriations, the Secretary shall provide financial assistance to a State agency that is designated under subsection (d)(2) for providing facilities to archive energy material.

(2) Studies

Subject to the availability of appropriations, the Secretary shall provide financial assistance to any State agency designated under subsection (d)(2) for studies and technical assistance activities that enhance understanding, interpretation, and use of materials archived in the data archive system established under subsection (d).

(3) Federal share

The Federal share of the cost of an activity carried out with assistance under this subsection shall be not more than 50 percent of the total cost of the activity.

(4) Private contributions

The Secretary shall apply to the non-Federal share of the cost of an activity carried out with assistance under this subsection the value of private contributions of property and services used for that activity.

(h) Report

The Secretary shall include in each report under section 8 of the National Geologic Mapping Act of 1992 (43 U.S.C. 31g)—

(1) a description of the status of the Program;

(2) an evaluation of the progress achieved in developing the Program during the period covered by the report; and

(3) any recommendations for legislative or other action the Secretary considers necessary and appropriate to fulfill the purposes of the Program under subsection (b).

(i) Maintenance of State effort

It is the intent of Congress that the States not use this section as an opportunity to reduce State resources applied to the activities that are the subject of the Program.

(j) Definitions

In this section:

(1) Advisory Committee

The term "Advisory Committee" means the advisory committee established under section 5 of the National Geologic Mapping Act of 1992 (43 U.S.C. 31d).

(2) Program

The term "Program" means the National Geological and Geophysical Data Preservation Program carried out under this section.

(3) Secretary

The term "Secretary" means the Secretary of the Interior, acting through the Director of the United States Geological Survey.

(4) Survey

The term "Survey" means the United States Geological Survey.

(k) Authorization of appropriations

There are authorized to be appropriated to carry out this section $30,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2006 through 2010.

(Pub. L. 109–58, title III, §351, Aug. 8, 2005, 119 Stat. 711.)

References in Text

The National Geologic Mapping Act of 1992, referred to in subsec. (f)(2), is Pub. L. 102–285, May 18, 1992, 106 Stat. 166, which is classified principally to sections 31a to 31h of Title 43, Public Lands. Par. (3) of section 5(b) of the Act was redesignated par. (4) by Pub. L. 111–11, title XI, §11001(f)(2)(B), Mar. 30, 2009, 123 Stat. 1415, and is now classified to section 31d(b)(4) of Title 43. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 31a of Title 43 and Tables.

1 See References in Text note below.

§15909. Gas hydrate production incentive

(a) Purpose

The purpose of this section is to promote natural gas production from the natural gas hydrate resources on the outer Continental Shelf and Federal lands in Alaska by providing royalty incentives.

(b) Suspension of royalties

(1) In general

The Secretary may grant royalty relief in accordance with this section for natural gas produced from gas hydrate resources under an eligible lease.

(2) Eligible leases

A lease shall be an eligible lease for purposes of this section if—

(A) it is issued under the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (43 U.S.C. 1331 et seq.), or is an oil and gas lease issued for onshore Federal lands in Alaska;

(B) it is issued prior to January 1, 2016; and

(C) production under the lease of natural gas from gas hydrate resources commences prior to January 1, 2018.

(3) Amount of relief

The Secretary shall conduct a rulemaking and grant royalty relief under this section as a suspension volume if the Secretary determines that such royalty relief would encourage production of natural gas from gas hydrate resources from an eligible lease. The maximum suspension volume shall be 30 billion cubic feet of natural gas per lease. Such relief shall be in addition to any other royalty relief under any other provision applicable to the lease that does not specifically grant a gas hydrate production incentive. Such royalty suspension volume shall be applied to any eligible production occurring on or after the date of publication of the advanced notice of proposed rulemaking.

(4) Limitation

The Secretary may place limitations on royalty relief granted under this section based on market price.

(c) Application

This section shall apply to any eligible lease issued before, on, or after August 8, 2005.

(d) Rulemakings

(1) Requirement

The Secretary shall publish the advanced notice of proposed rulemaking within 180 days after August 8, 2005, and complete the rulemaking implementing this section within 365 days after August 8, 2005.

(2) Gas hydrate resources defined

Such regulations shall define the term "gas hydrate resources" to include both the natural gas content of gas hydrates within the hydrate stability zone and free natural gas trapped by and beneath the hydrate stability zone.

(e) Review

Not later than 365 days after August 8, 2005, the Secretary, in consultation with the Secretary of Energy, shall carry out a review of, and submit to Congress a report on, further opportunities to enhance production of natural gas from gas hydrate resources on the outer Continental Shelf and on Federal lands in Alaska through the provision of other production incentives or through technical or financial assistance.

(Pub. L. 109–58, title III, §353, Aug. 8, 2005, 119 Stat. 714.)

References in Text

The Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act, referred to in subsec. (b)(2)(A), is act Aug. 7, 1953, ch. 345, 67 Stat. 462, as amended, which is classified generally to subchapter III (§1331 et seq.) of chapter 29 of Title 43, Public Lands. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 1301 of Title 43 and Tables.

§15910. Enhanced oil and natural gas production through carbon dioxide injection

(a) Production incentive

(1) Findings

Congress finds the following:

(A) Approximately two-thirds of the original oil in place in the United States remains unproduced.

(B) Enhanced oil and natural gas production from the sequestering of carbon dioxide and other appropriate gases has the potential to increase oil and natural gas production.

(C) Capturing and productively using carbon dioxide would help reduce the carbon intensity of the economy.

(2) Purpose

The purpose of this section is—

(A) to promote the capturing, transportation, and injection of produced carbon dioxide, natural carbon dioxide, and other appropriate gases or other matter for sequestration into oil and gas fields; and

(B) to promote oil and natural gas production from the outer Continental Shelf and onshore Federal lands under lease by providing royalty incentives to use enhanced recovery techniques using injection of the substances referred to in subparagraph (A).

(b) Suspension of royalties

(1) In general

If the Secretary determines that reduction of the royalty under a Federal oil and gas lease that is an eligible lease is in the public interest and promotes the purposes of this section, the Secretary shall undertake a rulemaking to provide for such reduction for an eligible lease.

(2) Rulemakings

The Secretary shall publish the advanced notice of proposed rulemaking within 180 days after August 8, 2005, and complete the rulemaking implementing this section within 365 days after August 8, 2005.

(3) Eligible leases

A lease shall be an eligible lease for purposes of this section if—

(A) it is a lease for production of oil and gas from the outer Continental Shelf or Federal onshore lands;

(B) the injection of the substances referred to in subsection (a)(2)(A) will be used as an enhanced recovery technique on such lease; and

(C) the Secretary determines that the lease contains oil or gas that would not likely be produced without the royalty reduction provided under this section.

(4) Amount of relief

The rulemaking shall provide for a suspension volume, which shall not exceed 5,000,000 barrels of oil equivalent for each eligible lease. Such suspension volume shall be applied to any production from an eligible lease occurring on or after the date of publication of any advanced notice of proposed rulemaking under this subsection.

(5) Limitation

The Secretary may place limitations on the royalty reduction granted under this section based on market price.

(6) Application

This section shall apply to any eligible lease issued before, on, or after August 8, 2005.

(c) Demonstration program

(1) Establishment

(A) In general

The Secretary of Energy shall establish a competitive grant program to provide grants to producers of oil and gas to carry out projects to inject carbon dioxide for the purpose of enhancing recovery of oil or natural gas while increasing the sequestration of carbon dioxide.

(B) Projects

The demonstration program shall provide for—

(i) not more than 10 projects in the Willistin Basin in North Dakota and Montana; and

(ii) 1 project in the Cook Inlet Basin in Alaska.

(2) Requirements

(A) In general

The Secretary of Energy shall issue requirements relating to applications for grants under paragraph (1).

(B) Rulemaking

The issuance of requirements under subparagraph (A) shall not require a rulemaking.

(C) Minimum requirements

At a minimum, the Secretary shall require under subparagraph (A) that an application for a grant include—

(i) a description of the project proposed in the application;

(ii) an estimate of the production increase and the duration of the production increase from the project, as compared to conventional recovery techniques, including water flooding;

(iii) an estimate of the carbon dioxide sequestered by project, over the life of the project;

(iv) a plan to collect and disseminate data relating to each project to be funded by the grant;

(v) a description of the means by which the project will be sustainable without Federal assistance after the completion of the term of the grant;

(vi) a complete description of the costs of the project, including acquisition, construction, operation, and maintenance costs over the expected life of the project;

(vii) a description of which costs of the project will be supported by Federal assistance under this section; and

(viii) a description of any secondary or tertiary recovery efforts in the field and the efficacy of water flood recovery techniques used.

(3) Partners

An applicant for a grant under paragraph (1) may carry out a project under a pilot program in partnership with 1 or more other public or private entities.

(4) Selection criteria

In evaluating applications under this subsection, the Secretary of Energy shall—

(A) consider the previous experience with similar projects of each applicant; and

(B) give priority consideration to applications that—

(i) are most likely to maximize production of oil and gas in a cost-effective manner;

(ii) sequester significant quantities of carbon dioxide from anthropogenic sources;

(iii) demonstrate the greatest commitment on the part of the applicant to ensure funding for the proposed project and the greatest likelihood that the project will be maintained or expanded after Federal assistance under this section is completed; and

(iv) minimize any adverse environmental effects from the project.

(5) Demonstration program requirements

(A) Maximum amount

The Secretary of Energy shall not provide more than $3,000,000 in Federal assistance under this subsection to any applicant.

(B) Cost sharing

The Secretary of Energy shall require cost-sharing under this subsection in accordance with section 16352 of this title.

(C) Period of grants

(i) In general

A project funded by a grant under this subsection shall begin construction not later than 2 years after the date of provision of the grant, but in any case not later than December 31, 2010.

(ii) Term

The Secretary shall not provide grant funds to any applicant under this subsection for a period of more than 5 years.

(6) Transfer of information and knowledge

The Secretary of Energy shall establish mechanisms to ensure that the information and knowledge gained by participants in the program under this subsection are transferred among other participants and interested persons, including other applicants that submitted applications for a grant under this subsection.

(7) Schedule

(A) Publication

Not later than 180 days after August 8, 2005, the Secretary of Energy shall publish in the Federal Register, and elsewhere, as appropriate, a request for applications to carry out projects under this subsection.

(B) Date for applications

An application for a grant under this subsection shall be submitted not later than 180 days after the date of publication of the request under subparagraph (A).

(C) Selection

After the date by which applications for grants are required to be submitted under subparagraph (B), the Secretary of Energy, in a timely manner, shall select, after peer review and based on the criteria under paragraph (4), those projects to be awarded a grant under this subsection.

(d) Records and inventory

The Secretary of the Interior, acting through the Bureau of Land Management, shall maintain records on, and an inventory of, the quantity of carbon dioxide stored within Federal mineral leaseholds.

(e) Authorization of appropriations

There are authorized to be appropriated such sums as are necessary to carry out this section.

(Pub. L. 109–58, title III, §354, Aug. 8, 2005, 119 Stat. 715; Pub. L. 110–140, title VII, §713, Dec. 19, 2007, 121 Stat. 1715.)

Amendments

2007—Subsecs. (d), (e). Pub. L. 110–140 added subsec. (d) and redesignated former subsec. (d) as (e).

Effective Date of 2007 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 110–140 effective on the date that is 1 day after Dec. 19, 2007, see section 1601 of Pub. L. 110–140, set out as an Effective Date note under section 1824 of Title 2, The Congress.

§15911. Denali Commission

(a) Definition of Commission

In this section, the term "Commission" means the Denali Commission established by the Denali Commission Act of 1998 (42 U.S.C. 3121 note; Public Law 105–277).

(b) Energy programs

The Commission shall use amounts made available under subsection (d) to carry out energy programs, including—

(1) energy generation and development, including—

(A) fuel cells, hydroelectric, solar, wind, wave, and tidal energy; and

(B) alternative energy sources;


(2) the construction of energy transmission, including interties;

(3) the replacement and cleanup of fuel tanks;

(4) the construction of fuel transportation networks and related facilities;

(5) power cost equalization programs; and

(6) projects using coal as a fuel, including coal gasification projects.

(c) Open meetings

(1) In general

Except as provided in paragraph (2), a meeting of the Commission shall be open to the public if—

(A) the Commission members take action on behalf of the Commission; or

(B) the deliberations of the Commission determine, or result in the joint conduct or disposition of, official Commission business.

(2) Exceptions

Paragraph (1) shall not apply to any portion of a Commission meeting for which the Commission, in public session, votes to close the meeting for the reasons described in paragraph (2), (4), (5), or (6) of subsection (c) of section 552b of title 5.

(3) Public notice

(A) In general

At least 1 week before a meeting of the Commission, the Commission shall make a public announcement of the meeting that describes—

(i) the time, place, and subject matter of the meeting;

(ii) whether the meeting is to be open or closed to the public; and

(iii) the name and telephone number of an appropriate person to respond to requests for information about the meeting.

(B) Additional notice

The Commission shall make a public announcement of any change to the information made available under subparagraph (A) at the earliest practicable time.

(4) Minutes

The Commission shall keep, and make available to the public, a transcript, electronic recording, or minutes from each Commission meeting, except for portions of the meeting closed under paragraph (2).

(d) Authorization of appropriations

There is authorized to be appropriated to the Commission not more than $55,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2006 through 2015 to carry out subsection (b).

(Pub. L. 109–58, title III, §356, Aug. 8, 2005, 119 Stat. 719.)

References in Text

The Denali Commission Act of 1998, referred to in subsec. (a), is title III of Pub. L. 105–277, div. C, Oct. 21, 1998, 112 Stat. 2681–637, which is set out as a note under section 3121 of this title. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Tables.

§15912. Comprehensive inventory of OCS oil and natural gas resources

(a) In general

The Secretary shall conduct an inventory and analysis of oil and natural gas resources beneath all of the waters of the United States Outer Continental Shelf ("OCS"). The inventory and analysis shall—

(1) use available data on oil and gas resources in areas offshore of Mexico and Canada that will provide information on trends of oil and gas accumulation in areas of the OCS;

(2) use any available technology, except drilling, but including 3–D seismic technology to obtain accurate resource estimates;

(3) analyze how resource estimates in OCS areas have changed over time in regards to gathering geological and geophysical data, initial exploration, or full field development, including areas such as the deepwater and subsalt areas in the Gulf of Mexico;

(4) estimate the effect that understated oil and gas resource inventories have on domestic energy investments; and

(5) identify and explain how legislative, regulatory, and administrative programs or processes restrict or impede the development of identified resources and the extent that they affect domestic supply, such as moratoria, lease terms and conditions, operational stipulations and requirements, approval delays by the Federal Government and coastal States, and local zoning restrictions for onshore processing facilities and pipeline landings.

(b) Reports

The Secretary shall submit a report to Congress on the inventory of estimates and the analysis of restrictions or impediments, together with any recommendations, within 6 months of August 8, 2005. The report shall be publicly available and updated at least every 5 years.

(Pub. L. 109–58, title III, §357, Aug. 8, 2005, 119 Stat. 720.)